Dorset

'Children' among 18 'illegal immigrants' found at Poole Port

Poole Port Image copyright Google
Image caption The 18 people were found in a lorry which had arrived at Poole Port from France

Seven people claiming to be children were among 18 suspected illegal immigrants found in a lorry arriving in the UK from France.

Officers were called to Poole Port in Dorset at 23:15 BST on Saturday, an hour after a cross-Channel ferry arrived from Cherbourg.

They found 10 men, one woman and seven claiming to be minors who said they were from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

A 61-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

In a statement, the Home Office said the man had since been released without charge.

"However, civil penalties will be imposed for failure to conduct the necessary checks on a vehicle prior to entering the UK," the statement said.

It said all 18 people in the lorry had been taken to hospital for assessment before being discharged and referred to Immigration Enforcement.

The "seven claimed minors" would be referred to social services for age assessment, the statement added.