Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Man arrested after 15 people found in back of lorry

Police were called to reports of ‘suspicious activity’ involving a lorry. Credit: PA

Fifteen people have been found in the back of a lorry in Wiltshire following reports of “suspicious activity” involving the vehicle.

Wiltshire Police said they closed the A350 at the Kington Langley crossroads near Chippenham after being called by a member of the public shortly before 8.30pm on Wednesday.

The driver, who is in his 50s and from the Republic of Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of assisting with illegal entry and is in custody in Swindon.

All of the people who were discovered in the lorry are believed to be over the age of 16 and none are thought to be in a serious condition, according to police.

All 15 men have been arrested on suspicion of entering the UK illegally, with one person taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon as a precaution before being taken to custody.

A police spokesperson said the force is "working closely with partner agencies as we conduct further enquiries".

“I’d like to thank all emergency services who responded last night – as with all incidents, we didn’t know the scale of what we would potentially be dealing with and all first responders showed true professionalism at the scene.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to the vigilant member of the public who initially reported this incident to us – it is thanks to them that this incident was resolved swiftly and safely with no serious casualties.”

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

It comes after eight people were arrested earlier this week by Vietnamese police in connection with the 39 migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex.

They were held on Sunday on suspicion of organising people smuggling overseas.

The 31 men and eight women who were discovered in the back of the refrigerated truck in Grays in October are thought to have been Vietnamese.

So far two people have been charged.

Essex Police have started extradition proceedings to bring 22-year-old Eamonn Harrison from Ireland to the UK.

Harrison, of Newry in Co Down, Northern Ireland, appeared at Dublin High Court last Friday charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, along with human trafficking and immigration offences, and was remanded in custody.

The driver of the lorry, Mo Robinson, 25, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Detectives have also urged Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34,said to have links with the road haulage and shipping industries, to hand themselves in.

The pair, from Armagh in Northern Ireland, are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking.