Belfast Telegraph

Irish man arrested after 15 men found in lorry in Chippenham

Police were called to reports of ‘suspicious activity’ involving a lorry (Peter Byrne/PA)
Police were called to reports of ‘suspicious activity’ involving a lorry (Peter Byrne/PA)
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

A man from the Republic of Ireland has been arrested after 15 people were found in the back of a lorry in Chippenham, England.

The discovery was made following a call from a member of the public shortly before 8.30pm on Wednesday evening.

Police attended the scene and found 15 men, aged between 16 and 30, in the back of the lorry.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the nationalities of the men.

Ambulance service paramedics carried out medical checks on the 15 men and 14 were found to be fit and well and were taken into police custody.

One of the men was taken to hospital as a precaution, however he was later released and taken into custody.

All 15 men have been arrested on suspicion of entering the UK illegally.

The lorry driver, who is from the Republic of Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal entry into the country and is being questioned by police.

Wiltshire Police Duty Superintendent Steve Cox said: "Members of the public would have noticed a large number of emergency services in the vicinity of the A350 last night while we dealt with this incident and the road was closed for approximately four hours while we carried out enquiries at the scene and recovery was arranged for the lorry, which was a hard-sided large goods vehicle.

"We are working closely with partner agencies as we conduct further enquiries - I fully understand that recent tragic events elsewhere in the country will mean there will be increased interest and heightened concern regarding this incident."

Duty Superintendent Cox thanked the emergency services who responded to the incident and the member of the public who alerted police.

The news comes just two weeks after 39 migrants were found dead in a container on the back of a lorry in Essex.

Northern Ireland man Mo Robinson (25), the driver of the lorry, has appeared in court charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Two brothers from Armagh, Ronan and Christopher Hughes, have been urged to hand themselves in to police investigating the deaths.

All of those found dead are believed to be from Vietnam. A total of ten people have been arrested by police in Vietnam in connection with the discovery.

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