04:37, November 07 171 0 theguardian.com

2018-11-07 04:37:08
Fifteen children found in refrigerated lorry entering UK

Six adults and 15 children as young as 12 have been found hidden inside a refrigerated lorry entering the UK.

The group, thought to be from Vietnam, were concealed in a shipment of sparkling water at the port of Newhaven in East Sussex last Thursday, according to a BBC news report, which said the lorry was stopped on after arriving from the French port of Dieppe.

Two of the adults – a man aged 18 and a woman aged 27 – have been expelled from the UK, while the remaining four – a woman and three men – have been placed in immigration detention. The children have been placed in the care of social services. They were cold but did not need medical treatment, the BBC reported.

The group were reportedly discovered by Border Force agents. A criminal investigation into the circumstances of their arrival is under way.

A Romanian man believed to be the driver was arrested and charged with assisting unlawful entry into the UK. The suspect, named by the BBC as Andrut Mihai Duma, 29, is being held in custody until a hearing at Lewes crown court on 26 November.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office, which handles requests for information relating to the Border Force, confirmed that the details reported by the BBC were correct. She said the department would release further information later on Wednesday.