Friday, June 27, 2008

Iranian illegal immigrants 'delivered in wheelie bins'

Friday 27th June 2008-
Maidstone, Kent, UK

Four suspected Iranian illegal immigrants were arrested after being smuggled into the country in a lorry transporting wheelie bins, police said today.The three men and a boy were caught after they ran from the vehicle as it delivered the bins at council offices in Maidstone, Kent. A witness told the Sun newspaper that up to 20 men had been hidden in the lorry. The witness said: "About 20 men burst out of the truck as it came to a stop."They didn't come out the back - they punched their way through the roof and started running off in all directions."They had been hiding inside the wheelie bins for the whole journey." A spokeswoman for Kent Police said: "Patrols from Kent Police attended College Road, Maidstone, after reports that men were seen getting out of the back of a French lorry."

Following a police search, four men were arrested and taken to Maidstone Police Station. A 20-year-old man from Iran, wanted by Liverpool police, was transferred to Liverpool City Magistrates court on June 20.

She added that two other men, aged 20 and 30, and a 16-year-old boy from Iran have been released into the custody of the Immigration Service. A fifth man was arrested in nearby Staplehurst, but she could not confirm that he had been in the lorry. Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: "The UK Border Agency works hand in hand with local police forces nationwide. Five Iranians were swiftly and successfully transferred to our specialist teams of officers within hours."
A spokesman for Maidstone Borough Council refused to comment but confirmed that a delivery of wheelie bins from France was made to its offices on the morning of Friday, June 20.

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