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Agency sniffer dog finds illegal immigrants attempting to smuggle themselves into the UK

02 February 2009

UK Border Agency officers based in France have thwarted an attempt by ten illegal immigrants to smuggle themselves into the UK - hidden in a lorry load of wheelie bins.

The officers were alerted to the presence of the stowaways by UK Border Agency sniffer dog Lois, an 18 month old male springer spaniel.

The Bulgarian-registered lorry was stopped at Calais at 0715 on Friday 23 January. A search of the load by UK Border Agency officers revealed the 10 men (nine Eritreans and one Afghan) hidden in the load of wheelie bins.

The lorry was heading for Calderdale but was stopped before it could board a ferry across the Channel.

A spokesman said:

"We have hundreds of UK Border Agency officers based at ports in France and Belgium, working to stop illegal immigrants before they get to the UK. In addition to searches with body detection dogs such as Lois, we also use carbon dioxide detectors and heart beat detectors to find well hidden stowaways.

"Our juxtaposed controls have successfully strengthened our borders and continue to prevent illegal migrants from entering the UK, stopping over 24,000 attempts to enter the UK so far over the last year - already six thousand more than the previous year."

The illegal immigrants were handed over to the French authorities.