Five immigrants found in Somerset-bound removal lorry

Five would-be illegal immigrants have been discovered in the back of a Somerset-bound removal lorry.

The two women and a man from Vietnam, and two men from Iraq, were detected by a sniffer dog at the port of Calais, in France.

UK Border Agency officers opened the German-registered lorry, which was travelling to Yeovil, and found them hiding in the load.

The stowaways have been handed over to French border police.

The lorry was allowed to continue on its journey, but the driver and haulage company will be fined if they cannot prove they took the correct steps to secure the vehicle.

Carole Upshall, the UK Border Agency's head of European operations, said: "This is exactly why we base so many of our staff in France and Belgium - to stop illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK.

"As well as using sniffer dogs, our staff also have heartbeat detectors, scanners and carbon dioxide probes to detect the presence of people hiding in lorries."

She said 29,000 attempts to cross the Channel illegally were prevented last year.

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