Dog sniffs out illegal immigrants on their way to King’s Lynn

Five would-be illegal immigrants hiding in a lorry bound for Kings Lynn have been prevented from entering the country after being found by a sniffer dog.

Border Agency officers at Calais, checking vehicles bound for Dover, examined a German registered freight vehicle with a German driver.

A specialist detection dog called Benji, a two-year-old English Springer Spaniel, alerted his handlers to the presence of some unexpected passengers in the back of the lorry.

Officers then boarded the trailer and found five men – all from Afghanistan – hiding among the load of paper en route to the Saddlebow Industrial Estate in Kings Lynn.

The five people were removed from the vehicle and passed to the French Frontier Police.

The vehicle was allowed to continue its journey to the UK. However, both the driver and haulage company may now each be liable for a fine of up to �10,000 - �2,000 per stowaway - if they are unable to prove they took steps to secure the vehicle.

Carole Upshall, UK Border Agency Director for South and Europe, said: 'Increasingly sophisticated and dangerous attempts are being made to try to smuggle people into Britain so our officers use hi-tech equipment, such as heartbeat detectors and carbon dioxide probes, as well as sniffer dogs, to find people hiding in vehicles.

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'Our strong presence at the border is preventing illegal immigrants from entering the UK and then heading for places like, in this case, Kings Lynn.'