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Man arrested over Somerset lorry released on bail

Avon and Somerset police have released a 50-year-old man on bail following his arrest in connection with a lorry carrying 15 people near Ilminster.

ITV News understands he is the driver of the lorry.

A force spokesman said: "A 50-year-old man has been released on police bail pending further enquiries. He was arrested yesterday on suspicion of facilitating entry of people into the UK. 15 people who were found in the back of a lorry remain in a rest centre."

Illegal migration to the UK 'increasing'

Irregular migration to the UK "is increasing", an anti-trafficking expert said.

Andy Desmond, Director of Anti-Trafficking Consultants, told Good Morning Britain that the hot weather simply makes cases, such as those of migrants in lorries, "more overt because of their own distress."

Following the discovery of 35 Afghan Sikhs in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks at the weekend, a lorry has been discovered carrying 15 migrants with suspected dehydration in Somerset. The German driver has been arrested.

Stowaways found in lorry in Somerset

Stowaways including 11 men, three women and a 15-year-old boy were discovered in the back of a lorry at a service station in Somerset.

Police were called when a motorist heard banging on the side of the truck. A German man has been arrested on been arrested on suspicion of facilitating the unlawful entry of people into the UK.

ITV News Wales and West of England Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports

Lorry owners take human trafficking 'very seriously'

The owners of a lorry found containing 15 people near Ilminster take incidents of human trafficking "very seriously," a spokesperson said.

The Thermotraffic spokesperson added: "At the moment we are in close contact with the British public authorities and support them to investigate the situation."

A German national has been arrested on suspicion of facilitating the unlawful entry of people into the UK. He is understood to be the driver of the lorry.

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Human traffickers using 'increasingly dangerous' tactics

Human traffickers are using "increasingly dangerous" tactics in a bid to dodge strict border controls, a Home Office spokeswoman has said.

It comes after 15 people were discovered in a lorry in Ilminster, Somerset, earlier today.

The spokeswoman said border and immigration officers were now assisting Avon and Somerset Police in their investigation.

We continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies both here and in Europe to target the organised crime gangs behind the majority of people-smuggling.

These criminals are constantly modifying their tactics in an attempt to evade strengthened border controls and we are seeing increasingly dangerous methods being used, including the use of sealed or refrigerated vehicles.

We would warn those who are tempted to put their lives in the hands of organised smugglers, that they are putting themselves and their families at risk.

– ome Office spokeswoman

Lorry doors 'opened in Calais' for nine minutes

The doors of a lorry found containing 15 people suffering from possible dehydration near Ilminster was opened in the French port of Calais for nine minutes, sources tell ITV News.

ITV News producer Sandi Sidhu has tweeted:

Police inspect lorry after passengers taken away

There is still a heavy police presence at the service station near Ilminster, Somerset where a lorry full of people was stopped today.

Police next to the lorry at Southfields service station Credit: ITV News
A police officer looks inside the space where 15 people are believed to have been transported from mainland Europe Credit: ITV News
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