Suspected illegal immigrants arrested at Melksham lorry depot

Six suspected illegal immigrants were arrested after being found in the back of a lorry in Melksham at the weekend.

Police were called to the Great Bear Distribution depot in Portal Road at 10.48am on Saturday after workers heard voices in the back of a Spanish-registered lorry which had entered the UK at Dover having crossed by ferry from Calais.

Sgt Jim Suter of Wiltshire Police attended and said: “We got a call from the depot as they had heard voices in the trailer, it was one of these lorries with a trailer attached to it at the back.

“We opened it up and saw six faces poking out of the lorry. Anyone who has entered the UK from outside the EU on the back of a lorry is someone who has probably entered illegally, so they were taken to the nearest police station and the UK Border Agency was contacted to deal with them from there.

“The annoying thing for the lorry driver and Great Bear is that the goods in the back of the lorry, cereal, have to be destroyed because there is a risk of contamination.”

Five males and one female, believed to be from Sudan, Ethiopa and Eritrea, were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and taken to Melksham Police Station where they were questioned by members of The UK Border Agency on Saturday afternoon.

Two men from Sudan and a man from Eritrea have been transferred to immigration detention centres in Oxfordshire and London where they remain while their cases are examined.

If they are found to have no right to be in the UK they will face deportation.

The other three people arrested were found to be minors and have been released to the care of social services.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “When suspected illegal immigrants found on lorries are arrested by police, our officers attend quickly.

“We work closely with police to tackle illegal immigration and immigration crime. When someone is found to have no legal right to remain in the UK we take action to remove them.”

A spokesman for Cereal Partners UK, which owns the depot, said: “We are co-operating with the authorities fully. As this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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