– Paul Morgan, Border Force Director for South East & Europe
Those involved in people smuggling prey on the desperation of others in order to line their own pockets and are a major factor in illegal immigration to the UK.
This incident shows why we base Border Force staff in France - to stop would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK and to target those engaged in people smuggling.
Officers selected the German-registered van which was carrying insulation boards for further examination.
A heart beat detector gave a positive reading and officers carried out a detailed search during which they found a concealed box.
After forcing open the box, they discovered it contained lighting, fans and seven Sri Lankan immigrants.
The 51-year-old driver of the van appeared before the French courts where he was jailed for four months for facilitating people smuggling.