Illegal immigrants caught in Ipswich

IMMIGRATION officials are continuing their investigation today into how 17 men, all claiming to be Afghans, got in to Ipswich.The illegal immigrants evaded security at Ipswich Port but some were spotted by the guards as they made their way from the West Bank Terminal.

IMMIGRATION officials are continuing their investigation today into how 17 men, all claiming to be Afghans, got in to Ipswich.

The illegal immigrants evaded security at Ipswich Port but some were spotted by the guards as they made their way from the West Bank Terminal.

Police were alerted and the men were rounded up, some outside the terminal and others close to the dry ski slope at Wherstead.

An immigration spokesman said that they believe the interlopers had come in to the country from Ostend in a trailer on Tuesday which has now been impounded at the terminal.


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"The investigations will take some time because all the men have to be interviewed and there is a problem with translation.

"They claim to be from Afghanistan and at the moment we have no reason to disbelieve this. Until they have been interviewed we are not sure where they are from however. Although the police rounded them up there is no police charges being brought against them. This is purely an immigration matter," he added.

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The spokesman said that of the 17, eight are being held by Felixstowe Dock police, the other nine are in the detention suite at Harwich.

It is believed that the soft-sided trailer could be the immigrants' transport in to the country but stringent checks need to be done to tie them in with that trailer.

Legally the owners of the trailer could be liable if it is established as the mode of transport but any company operating the import of the trailer would not be fined.

The spokesman said that illegal immigrants have been found after arriving at Ipswich before but it is not so common for them to come from the Belgian port.

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