Afghan immigrants disappear after plice release them

PUBLISHED: 14:28 11 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 03 May 2010

NINE illegal immigrants discvered hiding in a fruit lrry in Frdham may have disappeared int the cuntryside withut trace after being released by the plice. The eight men and a teenage by frm Afghanistan were fund by wrkers at haulage cmpany, Tu

NINE illegal immigrants discvered hiding in a fruit lrry in Frdham may have disappeared int the cuntryside withut trace after being released by the plice.

The eight men and a teenage by frm Afghanistan were fund by wrkers at haulage cmpany, Turners wh immediately alerted fficers.

But when the plice arrived they refused t arrest them and the immigrants were released and tld t make their wn way t a detentin centre in Crydn.

The men disappeared but five returned later telling dept staff they wanted t g t the Central Msque in Birmingham and a wrker drve them t Ely railway statin.

Nw MP Jim Paice, wh expressed his ttal disbelief f the incident, is raising the issue with Immigratin Minister, Liam Byrne.

"It is naïve in the extreme t expect nine illegal immigrants t vluntarily reprt t a facility in Crydn," said Mr Paice, wh represents Suth East Cambridgeshire.

"Surely when they are apprehended, as in this case, they ught nt t be released int the cmmunity withut any trace f where they may g.

"This is a ludicrus plicy and bund t lead t increased numbers f illegal immigrants."

The immigrants, well-dressed and with new trainers, were discvered hiding in tw pallet bxes underneath the trailer f a Spanish lrry when it arrived at Turners' dept. They had a large sum f mney, including sterling and Eurs.

It is believed the men may have barded the lrry n the French side f the Channel Tunnel after travelling acrss Eurpe.

Turners' staff freed them frm the pallet bxes after being alerted by the lrry driver.

"It was quite cramped fr nine f them and they wuld have almst certainly needed sme assistance t get in there," said Turners' cmpany secretary, David Munns.

"Our security fficer searched them t make sure they were nt armed and then they were given smething t eat and drink."

Staff called the plice but fficers refused t arrest the men and instead handed ut cpies f the address f the Crydn detentin centre with instructins t pass them n t the immigrants.

Mr Munns added: "We were amazed that we had been left virtually hlding the baby. The attitude frm the plice was 'it's nt ur prblem'. It wuld be interesting t knw whether this is happening acrss the cuntry r whether any ther prvisin is made fr them."

Ely Sectr Inspectr Alan Savill said: "As I am sure yu are aware, we are led by the immigratin service in relatin t the actins taken in cases such as these. With regard t this particular incident, immigratin was cnsulted at St Ives and due t their staffing levels and ur wn, and als taking int accunt the availability f custdy facilities, n ther ptin was available ther than t direct these persns t the immigratin facility at Crydn which is an accepted practice."

But a Brder and Immigratin Agency spkesman: said: "It is nt true that the Brder and Immigratin Agency advised the plice t tell illegal immigrants in Cambridgeshire t make their wn way t Crydn.

"We respnd as a matter f pririty whenever ntified by the plice that they have arrested illegal immigrants fund in lrries. In the East Midlands and East f England a new fast-track prcedure was recently intrduced where all adult males arrested by the plice at 'lrry drps' are taken int immigratin detentin where they are fingerprinted and then dealt with accrding t BIA prcedures and guidelines.

Most Read

Latest from the Ely Standard

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists