Stacked up against Ikea flatpack furniture, this was the moment nine Albanian stowaways were caught trying to sneak into the country. The foreign nationals spent 14 hours in a tiny hideaway before being discovered in the largest immigration interception at a North East port.
UK Border Agency officials intercepted the Romanian registered vehicle, which was on its way to deliver furniture to an Ikea store in Gateshead, after sniffer dogs picked up a scent at North Shields ferry terminal. Covered in dirt, the stowaways, all aged between 20 and 50, were found in a hidden compartment of the lorry, and questioned before being sent back to The Netherlands, The Newcastle Evening Chronicle reported.
Last week the lorries set off from Bucharest in Romania and travelled across Europe to Amsterdam where it is believed the Albanians, desperate for a life in Britain, were staying. John Spence, assistant director at the UKBA, told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: 'Officers at Tyne Dock use the latest technology, sniffer dogs and their own experience and expertise to stay one step ahead of illegal immigrants.