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3 August 2010, 13:22 | Updated: 3 August 2010, 13:52
Three Indian stowaways have been prevented from sneaking into the country after UK Border Agency officers found them hiding inside a lorry bound for Canterbury.
The men were found in the early hours of 26 July after agency officers working in Calais were alerted by a sniffer dog which indicated the presence of people aboard a German-registered freight lorry.
The officers searched the trailer and found the men hiding within the load of mixed goods.
The stowaways were all handed over to French Border Police, and the vehicle was allowed to continue to the UK.
However, the German driver and the haulage company now face a potential fine if they are unable to prove they took steps to secure the vehicle.
Carole Upshall, the UK Border Agency’s Director for 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 and carbon dioxide probes to detect the presence of people hiding in lorries.”
UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
Throughout 2009 more than 29,000 illegal attempts to cross the Channel were prevented by the UK Border Agency.