Immigration Checks ‘Are Working’

Immigration checks 'are working'
Drivers found carrying stowaways face hefty fines

BBC News
Thursday, 29 November 2007, 18:42 GMT []

British Immigration officials based in France are stopping people entering Kent illegally, according to the border control agency.

The comments come after officers in Dunkirk discovered three Iraqi men hiding in a Romanian lorry on Monday.

The driver had told officials his vehicle had been tampered.

Tom Dowdall, director of the European Operations for the Border and Immigration Agency, said this showed new passport controls were working.

'Hefty fines'

He added: “This is why we have officers stationed in France – we need to stop would-be immigrants from crossing the Channel in the first place.

“Lorry drivers know that they face hefty fines if they are found to be carrying stowaways, which is why so many of them report problems with their vehicles to us.”

“We also use sniffer dogs and technology that detects evidence of heartbeats and carbon dioxide of humans on board trucks to stop people getting to Kent illegally.”

Immigration checks for people entering Dover through Calais and Dunkirk moved onto the French side of the Channel in 2004.

The reciprocal arrangement means French border police also make checks on the UK side of the water.