Shocking video shows 13 illegal immigrants being removed from lorry on M25
This shocking video shows 13 illegal immigrants being removed from a lorry on the M25.
The group of stowaways was only noticed when driver Mark Robinson heard banging in his trailer after pulling into services near London.
The footage shows police telling the stowaways to stay in the truck before being led out one by one.
Movecorp Ltd, based in Walsall, West Mids, was hit with an £18,000 bill after the group was discovered in the vehicle driven by Mark Robinson.
Despite bosses saying he called police and the UK Border Force to report the stowaways, the firm, based in Middlemore Lane West, Aldridge, was fined £19,500 following the incident.
Following an appeal, managing director James Tennant said the fine was reduced to £7,500, but with the legal costs the firm ended up paying around £18,000.
James, 39, now wants to raise awareness about the issue with other haulage companies.
James said: “The most frustrating thing is that our driver could have opened the doors and let them go, but because he did the right thing and reported it, we have ended up being the ones penalised.
“Mr Robinson stopped at the services and as he got out of the truck he could hear banging coming from the back and presumed there was something going on in there. He called the police and the Border Force.
“We don’t know how they got in the lorry.”
He also claims that hauliers are being asked to do the border force’s job, with officials unable to cope with numbers of want-to-be immigrants.
The agency said it was continuing ‘to strengthen the security’ of borders ‘to stop those who have no right to enter the UK’.
Movecorp has 50 lorries and at any one time half of them are travelling across Europe.
James said: “Whoever is behind it is obviously well organised.
“The driver had done the checks and locked the door.
“It seems the locks were opened by someone, the people let in, then reattached.
“He didn’t really speak to the stowaways who were then taken away by the officers.
“One of them tried to run away, but they were caught.
“The onus is on us to prove that we did all the checks and followed procedures but that’s unfair.
“Because they have got such an immense problem we are having to do the work of the UK Border Force because they can’t control it themselves.”
James said his drivers often faced problems with immigrants attempting to get in their vehicles.
He said: “Our drivers say that people are constantly trying to get into the vehicles all the time.
“It could happen anywhere on the continent, particularly in Italy and France.
“The closer they to Calais the higher the risk of someone trying to get on.
“It goes without saying that our drivers do the checks. The furthest we go is Sweden and some of them can be abroad for up to two weeks.”
The lorry was loaded with household goods belonging to a customer. The incident happened in May last year.
Home Office spokesman George Kotschy said: “We continue to strengthen the security of our borders to stop those who have no right to enter the UK.
“One element of this work is the ability of Border Force to impose a penalty on any individuals or companies found to be carrying illegal immigrants.
“All drivers entering into the UK, including those entering from France, must take simple steps to avoid illegal immigrants boarding, such as ensuring the vehicle remains locked and that compartments are secured.
“Failure to take these steps and ensure an effective system of security is in place can result in a fine of up to £2,000 for each clandestine found to be on board.
“Border Force provides advice, guidance and an online checklist for haulage companies on how to secure their vehicle.
“To help avoid penalties and improve security, companies can also apply for Border Force Accreditation.”