Illegal immigrants found hidden in a frozen cheese lorry bound for Neasden

The 17 men were discovered by UK border police in Calais

A group of illegal immigrants have been discovered trying to sneak their way into Britain hidden in a refrigerated lorry carrying frozen feta cheese to Neasen.

The group of 17, which included 13 Afghans, three Iranians and a Pakistani, endured sub zero conditions and risked freezing to death to conceal themselves beneath the load, which was on its way to the North Circular Road.

They were found by UK Border Agency officers using sniffer dogs and heartbeat detectors last Tuesday (22) at the French port in Calais.

The men were handed over to French Border Police, and the lorry was allowed to carry on to London.

But the driver and the haulage company involved now face potential fines if they are unable to prove they took steps to secure their vehicles properly.

Carole Upshall, UK Border Agency Director for Europe, said: “This incident shows why we base UK Border Agency staff in France - to stop would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK.

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“Our strong presence in French ports like Calais helps protect the whole of the UK from people attempting to enter the country illegally.

“On this occasion, our officers may also have saved the lives of those they discovered. The sub-zero temperatures inside the trailer meant the stowaways may well have frozen to death before making it to England.”