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Caravan searched while driver waited at Dunkirk for ferry to Dover
12:06pm Friday 28th June 2013 in News
A Southampton man is being held by police in France after three illegal immigrants were found in his caravan.
The caravan was being towed by a car driven by a 34-year-old from Southampton and was searched at around 2.30am yesterday as it waited in Dunkirk for a ferry to Dover.
The driver, a British national believed to be from Afghanistan, claimed to have been on a two-day holiday in the Dunkirk area.
Three other people were in the car, his wife and child and a second man, aged 31.
But officers found three Afghans inside the caravan – a man and woman in their 50s hiding in a toilet and 12-year-old boy locked in a cupboard.
The stowaways were handed over to the French authorities and the driver and his companions are now in the custody of the French border police.
Paul Morgan, Border Force regional director, said today: “This incident shows why we base Border Force staff in France - to stop would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK.
“Our strong presence in French ports like Calais and Dunkirk, and close collaboration with French authorities, helps protect the whole of the UK from people attempting to enter the country illegally.”
As well as using physical searches Border Force officers also use sniffer dogs, heartbeat detectors and carbon dioxide probes to find people hiding in vehicles and freight.
Anyone with information about immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.