10 men found in trailer arrested on suspicion of immigration offenses

LONDON -- Ten men found alive inside a truck trailer outside London have been arrested on suspicion of committing immigration offenses.

At around 6:10 pm on Thursday, the Essex police were called to a section of highway near the town of Waltham Abbey, about 16 miles north of London. They received reports of people inside the truck trailer, police told ABC News in a statement.

The police found 10 men in the rear of the trailer. One man was taken to a hospital for medical treatment and all were arrested on suspicion of immigration offenses. They will be referred to Immigration Enforcement, the Essex police said.

The driver of the truck has also been arrested, although police said he had been released under supervision. The Essex Police will continue to investigate the case, they said.

This incident is the latest in a series of recent cases of people being allegedly smuggled across Europe in tractor-trailers.

In a separate incident, the Irish police reported that 16 men were found in the back of a truck trailer on a ferry traveling to Ireland from France on the same day as the London discovery. The Gardaí (Irish police) said in a statement that they "believe that all the men are of Middle Eastern origin and are adults, but Gardaí continue to confirm the age of one man who may be a juvenile," and have launched an investigation. They said it had been a traumatic experience for the men, and "they are being treated with sympathy and compassion."

Last month, the U.K. was shocked by a case of 39 Vietnamese people found dead in a tractor-trailer at an industrial park in the town of Grays in Essex, about 20 miles east of London. The Essex police called it the "largest murder investigation in our force's history."

A week after the 39 victims were found in Essex, on Oct. 30, the Belgian police found 12 men in the back of a fruit and vegetable truck, according to the Guardian.

Separately, on Nov. 6, police stopped a truck on the highway 90 miles outside London and found 15 men in the back. On Nov. 19, Dutch media reported that 25 stowaways had been discovered in a refrigerated container in a ferry on its way to the UK from the Netherlands.

At the end of October, the U.K. government announced a new drive to crack down on serious organized crime, including trafficking.
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