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Two pregnant women found among 68 trafficked in containers

The four men driving the vehicles have been arrested on suspicion of breaking immigration laws.

Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TWO PREGNANT WOMEN have been found among 68 people being smuggled into the UK.

Four Polish lorry drivers have been arrested at Harwick international port, Essex in the south of England after the individuals were discovered on Thursday night.

Eight people, including the two pregnant women, have been taken to Colchester general hospital, the Guardian is reporting. 

The individuals found include 35 Afghan nationals, 22 Chinese nationals, ten Vietnam nationals and one Russian national.

In a statement, the British Home Office said, “We can confirm Border Force officers discovered 53 adults and 15 children during a proactive search of four lorries which had arrived at Harwich port from Holland on Thursday evening.”

The four individuals arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration remain in police custody and will be investigated by the Home Office’s criminal investigation team.

All of the individuals involved are now in the care of the UK’s Border Force.

In an earlier statement the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) said that it had been called to the port shortly after 10pm with reports of people locked in a container.

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The EEAST said that those taken to hospital were suffering from chest and abdominal pain and that none of them were in life threatening condition.

In 2014 there were 24,914 applications for asylum in the United Kingdom, an increase of 6% on 2013 when applications were at 23,584. This is substantially below the 2002 peak of 84,132.

The UK works closely with Dutch, Belgian and French authorities to combat people trafficking, using sniffer dogs, heartbeat monitors and carbon monoxide probes to find people hiding in vehicles and fright.

With additional reporting from AFP 

Read: ‘Bureaucracy and ineptitude’ leaves Irish-speaking family facing deportation

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