Polish lorry drivers bailed over Harwich stowaways

People are led away by Border Force staff Image copyright PA

Four Polish lorry drivers who were arrested after 68 suspected illegal immigrants were found locked in their vehicles have been released on bail.

Passengers from Afghanistan, China, Vietnam and Russia were found inside the lorries at Harwich International Port in Essex on Thursday.

The men, who were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration, have been bailed until 2 July.

Fifteen of those discovered hiding amid Polish washing machines were children.

Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex said it was one of the "biggest single finds of clandestines coming into the UK".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The migrants included 35 Afghan nationals, 22 Chinese, 10 Vietnamese and one Russian passenger

Mr Jenkin told the BBC the migrants had clearly been in the trucks for a long time, and many had been dehydrated and very tired.

He said the individuals were questioned about whom they had paid, how much they had paid and where they had got on the lorries - but none spoke English making communication difficult.

How many 'clandestine' migrants come to the UK?

41,000 2014/15

19,003 2013/14

11,731 2012/13

9,632 2011/12

10,916 2010/11

(Numbers of people trying to enter the UK illegally detected by the Border Force, other agencies in France and Belgium, and at UK ports)

Source: Home Office

Some of the most sick - including two pregnant women - had been treated at Colchester Hospital and since discharged, the Home Office said.

It is believed those not seeking asylum will be sent back to their home country.

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