'Illegal migrants' break out of lorry at business park in Hersden
STOWAWAYS surged out of a lorry in broad daylight after it stopped on an industrial park.
Software engineer Barney Wimbush, who witnessed the scene outside his office at the Lakesview Business Park in Hersden, said it was like "something straight out of border patrol".
The Turkish lorry came hurtling around the corner as Barney, 19, was outside, and even before it had stopped, the side was slashed. More than a dozen men – thought to be illegal immigrants – came pouring out before making off.
They got as far as the A28 in Upstreet before the police caught up with them at 5.15pm – less than an hour after their attempted getaway.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Thisi is Dyson's smallest upright vacuum cleaner with the performance of a full size upright machine. The DC50i has Dyson's most advanced cleaner head technology and 2 Tier RadialTM cyclones.
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
Officers confirmed 16 suspected illegal immigrants had been arrested and taken to a police station, where they were referred to UK Border Agency officers.
Among the group were two youths from Afghanistan – who have since been placed in the care of social services – as well as one man from Afghanistan, ten men from Syria, two from Palestine and one from an unknown country.
The Canterbury Times has been shown startling footage of the escape bid, which was captured by CCTV cameras at Barney's office.
Mr Wimbush, an apprentice at IT company IonCube, can be seen watching in amazement as the bizarre events unfold.
He said: "The lorry came quite fast around the corner and a slit appeared in the side. Then right in front of me, about 10ft away, all these men started jumping out. The driver looked really bemused.
"There was a diesel theft nearby in the last few days, so my immediate thought was that it had something to do with that. It's been a weird week here."
Shortly afterwards, Barney ran into two of the men at a bus stop on the A28, who were having difficulty continuing their journey.
He said: "They couldn't speak English so they didn't know what bus to get. They looked really lost and out of place. They probably didn't even know which country they were in."
After their arrests, the two men from Syria and Afghanistan were transferred to an immigration detention centre to await deportation.
The 12 other men were released but ordered to report regularly to the Border Agency while their cases were considered.
They could still face deportation if an investigation finds they have no right to be in the UK.
UK Border Agency spokesman Toby Allanson said: "When suspected illegal immigrants found on lorries are arrested by police, our officers quickly respond.
"We work closely with police to tackle illegal immigration and immigration crime. Where someone is found to have no legal right to remain in the UK we will take action to remove them."