Essex

Illegal immigrants found in lorry on M25 at Thurrock

Twelve illegal immigrants have been found in the back of a lorry at an Essex service station.

Police officers were speaking to the driver of the lorry at Thurrock service station on the M25 when they heard banging coming from the trailer.

Inside they found seven people from Vietnam, four from Iran and one from Iraq. All were arrested and handed over to the UK Border Agency.

The driver, who is from Poland, was also arrested.

The lorry was searched on Thursday as part of Operation Mermaid, a road safety initiative.

Police said they stopped 23 lorries and two vans, issuing £1,700 in roadside fines during the day for a range of offences.

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