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18 May 2010

Twenty-five foreign nationals have been prevented from entering the country illegally, after they were caught hiding in lorry at Dunkirk, France by the UK Border Agency.

The male stowaways - from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran - were discovered on the morning of Friday 14 May by a sniffer dog, which was checking vehicles before they boarded ferries bound for Dover.

The springer spaniel, called Louis, detected the scent of humans and alerted his handler.

Officers then opened the Czech lorry and found the would-be illegal immigrants - including a father and his sons, aged 7 and 9 - concealed among bottles of wine and olive oil. The consignment was due to be delivered to a depot in Weston-super-Mare.

The stowaways were all handed over to the French border police.

The driver of the vehicle and the haulage company now face a potential fine if they cannot prove that they took steps to secure the vehicle.

Tom Dowdall, 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.'

In 2009, over 29,000 individual attempts to cross the Channel illegally were prevented.

Louis is one of over 100 sniffer dogs used by the UK Border Agency to protect the border and enforce the law.

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  • Tier 1, for which the Highly Skilled
    Migrant Programme (HSMP) was a forerunner, enables highly skilled
    individuals to enter the UK to contribute
    to its economic wealth and productivity. Read more ....

  • Tier 2, is for skilled workers who
    have been offered employment in
    the UK. It has replaced the previous
    Work Permit scheme. Read more ....

  • Tier 4 is for those wishing to study in the
    UK. It has comprehensively replaced the
    Immigration Rules relating to students.
    Read more ....

  • Tier 5 is for youth mobility and temporary
    workers. Their reasons for coming to the
    UK are non-economic. Read more ....


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