Published: 15:00, 26 August 2014 |
A lorry driver has been arrested after 13 suspected illegal immigrants were found in the back of a truck at the Dartford Crossing.
He was held by police after eight men, four women and a child were discovered in the vehicle yesterday morning.
The group - from Eritrea, Syria, Iran and Sudan - were assessed by paramedics after being found on the Kent side of the crossing.
The lorry driver has been released on police bail until November 6 pending further inquiries.
Immigration officers were called to the crossing at just after 11.30am after the group were found in a lorry.
A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman said they sent two ambulances and a Hazardous Area Response unit.
Paramedics assessed 13 people, with one taken to Darent Valley Hospital by ambulance. He is not understood to be in a serious condition.
"Drivers and hauliers must take adequate steps to secure their vehicles from illegal immigrants trying to smuggle themselves across the border..." - Home Office spokesman
The remaining 12 people were taken to Dover to be questioned by immigration officials.
A Home Office spokesman said: "We work closely with the police to tackle illegal immigration. Where someone is found to have no legal right to remain in the UK we will take action to remove them.
"Drivers and hauliers must take adequate steps to secure their vehicles from illegal immigrants trying to smuggle themselves across the border.
"If a driver does not take these steps - and is found with people hiding in their vehicle – they will be issued with a civil penalty."
There were long delays on the M25 anti-clockwise between J4 for Sevenoaks and the Dartford Crossing due to heavy traffic caused by the incident.
Kent Police said officers were called to a report of suspected illegal immigrants. A spokesman said the case was handed over to immigration officers.
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