Thursday, November 1, 2012
British border officials got a Halloween surprise when they found three Eritreans trying to sneak into the country by hiding in a truck packed with coffins | 7 Days Dubai
The Border Force said three citizens of the African country Eritrea were found among dozens of coffins in the vehicle, which had been loaded up in Bulgaria - across the border from Dracula’s Transylvania home.
However, unlike the notorious fictional count, the would-be migrants preferred not to avail themselves of the coffins’ comforts and were instead found wedged between the boxed cargo.
Officials said that the three Eritreans were found on Monday at the port of Dunkirk in northern France, where the truck was waiting to board a ferry to Britain.
The trio’s plan to cross to the other side - of the English channel, that is - to find a new life in the UK came to a timely end when the border patrol’s sniffer dog was called in to help officers.
France is a key gateway for UK border control experts who, as well as using sniffer dogs, use heartbeat detectors, carbon dioxide probes and physical searches to find people hiding in vehicles.
“Our strong presence in France and our close collaboration with the French authorities helps protect the whole of the UK from people attempting to enter the country illegally,” said a Border Force officer.
He added that the coffin truck discovery was unusual but was by no means the only strange place they had found people - he said that in the past they had also discovered people in shipments of dog biscuits and bathtubs.
“This shows exactly why we base staff in France -
to stop would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK,” he added. The three Eritreans were handed over to French border police and the truckload of coffins continued their, not yet final, journey to a funeral director in west London.