SEVEN would-be illegal immigrants who were heading for Wembley have been stopped from entering the UK after they were found hidden in a van.

The group consisting of four men, a woman and two children, all from Sri Lanka, were discovered in the early hours of Sunday, March 10, at a Calais port.

Officers had selected the German-registered hire van which was carrying insulation boards for further examination after it arrived at the port to catch a ferry to Dover.

Delivery documents showed its intended destination as Wembley.

A heart beat detector check showed a positive reading and officers conducted a search of the vehicle, uncovering a concealed box. After forcing open the box, which contained lighting and fans, officers found the seven people.

The 51-year-old Polish van driver and the seven Sri Lankans were handed over to the French border police for further investigation. He appeared before the French courts where he received four months imprisonment for the facilitation of people smuggling.

Paul Morgan, Border Force Director for South East and Europe, said: “This incident shows why we base Border Force staff in France – to stop would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK and to target those engaged in people smuggling.”

Anyone who has information about immigration crime can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be assured or visit