British police on Friday have confirmed that 68 people including 2 pregnant women and 15 children were rescued from locked containers at Harwich International Port in the southeast of England, while four Polish truck drivers have been arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.
A spokeswoman for the United Kingdom Home Office said that, “We can confirm Border Force officers discovered 53 adults and 15 children during a proactive search of four lorries which had arrived at Harwich port from Holland on Thursday evening.”
She also said that “Four Polish nationals who were driving the vehicles have been arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.
“They have been taken to separate police stations and will now be questioned by the Home Office’s criminal investigations team while enquires continue.”
Thirty-five people from Afghanistan, 22 from China, 10 from Vietnam and one Russian were discovered in four trucks which arrived from the Netherlands.
Emergency officials were called to the port which is mainly used by ferries from and to the Netherlands, on Thursday evening after 10:00 pm (21:00 GMT).
According to a statement from the East of England Ambulance Service seven people, including the two pregnant women, were sent to the hospital as a precaution.
“A total of 68 people were assessed at the scene with seven being taken to Colchester General Hospital for further assessments and care.
“The patients who were taken to hospital were suffering from abdominal and chest pains and were feeling faint. None are in a life-threatening or serious condition,” said the ambulance service.
After the check-ups the 7 were discharged from the hospital and all 68 people were handed over to UK Border Agency officials.
According to the Guardian this is not the first time people have tried to cross into the UK in containers, in August 2014, 35 immigrants were found in a container at Tilbury Docks in Essex, however, one of the immigrants, Singh Kapoor, was found dead.
Yet again within the same month another 13 people were discovered in the back of a truck at the Dartford Crossing in Kent.