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.
More top news
The family of a Sussex teenager who died after just one punch during a night out has reached a milestone in their lifesaving campaign.
The headteacher of a Berkshire secondary school has quit over funding cuts which she says means children will suffer.
Troops from the 4th Battalion the Rifles returned home today after spending four months on deployment in Iraq.