Police arrest 14 people found in the back of a lorry on Essex motorway

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Police on the M11 motorway after sixteen people were arrested for immigration offences. (Andy Brookes/Twitter/PA)

Police have arrested 14 people found in the back of a lorry in Essex on suspicion of immigration offences.

The M11 near Harlow was closed between junctions eight and nine while officers attended the scene after being called shortly before 6pm on Wednesday.

The 14 people in the back were detained after being checked by the ambulance service, police said.

Officers located the lorry near Junction 9 of the M11 and closed both carriageways to ensure a safe exit for those inside the container. (Andy Brookes/Twitter/PA)

The 30-year-old lorry driver and a passenger have also been detained on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry, the force added.

The incident comes several months after 39 migrants were found dead inside the back of a lorry in Grays, Essex.

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Police said in a statement: "Officers located the lorry near Junction 9 of the M11 and closed both carriageways to ensure a safe exit for those inside the container.

"Fourteen people from inside the lorry were checked over by the East of England Ambulance Service. They have since been detained on suspicion of immigration offences.

"Another two people, the 30-year-old driver and a passenger, have been arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry.”

Witness Andy Brookes told the PA news agency: "The police closed the road just before my vehicle, then loads more turned up.”

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The 44-year-old, from Earls Barton, said: "I saw at least four people in the back of the trailer that were wearing COVID face masks, and I saw about six or seven people on the grass at the side of the motorway."

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