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More asylum seekers found in Haverhill

Police searching a lorry for illegal immigrants. NOTE: This is a file picture for illustrative purposes only and was not taken at the actual incident in Haverhill
Police searching a lorry for illegal immigrants. NOTE: This is a file picture for illustrative purposes only and was not taken at the actual incident in Haverhill

This time around a group of 20 were discovered on Tuesday afternoon in a lorry at Iceni Way, home to Culina Logistics.

The latest incident has prompted a fresh pledge from the town’s MP, Matt Hancock, to try and get to the bottom of why lorry loads of illegal immigrants keep turning up in Haverhill.

Mr Hancock’s pledge comes almost exactly 12 months since a group of seven Iranians, which included a four-year-old girl, three men and three women, walked into the Days Inn Hotel opposite Culina and asked to be arrested.

The incident led to Mr Hancock writing to the Minister of Immigration, James Brokenshire, to see what could be done about the issue.

Mr Hancock said: “I am extremely disappointed to hear about this incident.

“Haverhill residents will be extremely worried about this latest news.

“I will do all I can to stop future incidents like this and ensure that people in Haverhill are safe.

“I am in touch with Tim Passmore to point out the strain on local police services in Haverhill which worryingly seems to be a favourite stop for asylum seekers.

“I will also contact the East of England’s Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) team to ask for stronger vigilance at the ports.”

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that police arrested 20 people on suspicion of entering the UK illegally, 19 of the group were male and one was a woman from Iraq.

He added: “Of the males, 11 were from Iraq and eight from Iran.

“Three of the Iranians and one of the Iraqis claim to be minors and have been passed to the care of social services so that they can be age assessed.

“The other males remain in police custody. The woman is currently in hospital.”

The lorry driver, a 53-year-old Spanish man, was arrested on suspicion of facilitating a breach of the UK’s immigration system. He has been released on bail.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said they were called just before 12.40pm on Tuesday to reports that a number of suspected illegal immigrants had been discovered in a lorry container in Haverhill .

She added that officers attended the location in Iceni Way, where 20 people were found in the container. Ambulance personnel were also called to check them over. The Iraqi woman was taken to hospital with abdominal pains.

The other 19 people were taken into police custody at Bury St Edmunds and Martlesham, from where the investigation was handed over to Border Force officials.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Trust confirmed that the woman was taken to hospital after complaining of abdominal pains.

The latest group of asylum seekers found in Haverhill is double the size of any of the previous four groups.

The most recent incident was on January 13, when six men from Eritrea were detained in Hamlet Road after they were seen getting out of the back of a lorry.

Before this, a group of ten, made up of Iraqis, Iranians, Kuwaitis and Afghans, were found in a lorry at Culina on September 5, 2014.

On October 9, ten Iranians were found in a refrigerated lorry at the same location.

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