FIVE stowaways have been caught in a lorry bound for Huddersfield.
The five men – all thought to be from the African country of Eritrea – were found by UK Border Agency staff.
They swooped in Calais after a specially-trained “sniffer” dog alerted them to the lorry.
The men were discovered when UK Border Agency officers working at the busy French port examined the Polish-registered vehicle.
It was carrying aluminium machinery to a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Huddersfield.
The body detection dog alerted the officers to people hiding inside the load, and a thorough search of the trailer revealed the Eritrean men.
The stowaways were removed from the lorry and handed to the French Frontier Police (Police aux Frontieres).
The vehicle was then allowed to continue on its journey, although the driver and the haulier may now be liable to a fine if they are found not to have taken adequate steps to secure the load.
Carole Upshall, the UK Border Agency’s director for European operations, said: “Our officers use the latest technology, sniffer dogs and their own experience and expertise to stay one step ahead of illegal immigrants.
“The UK Border Agency’s strong presence at the frontier, not only in the UK but also in northern France, helps protect the whole country from people illegally entering the UK and then heading for places across Britain – in this case Huddersfield.”
The stowaways were found as officers carried out early-morning checks.
It is not known how long they had been in the lorry, nor where they got inside the container.
But it is thought they probably climbed aboard in Calais – scene of squalid refugee camps full of people trying to get to the UK.
Huddersfield Daily Examiner
UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and also to detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
They use an array of search techniques including detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners as well as visual searches to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and cigarettes.
The agency is responsible for securing the UK border and controlling migration in the UK. The agency manages border control for the UK, enforcing immigration and customs regulations.
The agency prevents drugs, weapons, terrorists, criminals and would-be illegal immigrants reaching the United Kingdom.
It decides on the eligibility of foreign nationals to stay in the UK and enforces immigration law within the UK. Officers are on constant patrol not only at UK ports and airports but also in France and other European countries.