Heavily pregnant woman among three migrants found in refrigerated lorry

Nidal Mansour and Theo Koulli found the migrants while they were on shift at Central Frozen Food Supplies in Longport. (BPM Media)

A heavily pregnant woman has been among three migrants discovered in the back of a lorry.

Managers at Central Frozen Food Supplies in the Longport area of Stoke-on-Trent said three suspected illegal immigrants were found in one of their delivery trucks at around 8.15am on Thursday.

Nidal Mansour and Theo Koulli were on shift at the time and say two men and a heavily pregnant woman were discovered in a refrigerated vehicle which was chilled to temperatures of 1C.

A staff member at neighbouring Wayne Walker phoned police after hearing banging coming from inside the truck containing jars of mayonnaise and tubs of coleslaw.

A staff member at neighbouring company Wayne Walker heard banging coming from the truck. (Google)

Officers were called to the site and arrested a 16-year-old boy and a man aged 27 on suspicion of illegal entry into the UK.

The woman was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital by paramedics.

Sales director Nidal Mansour said the lorry had started its journey in Germany.

The 58-year-old said: "When I was driving to work through Cobridge police cars were racing past me so I knew something was happening and when I got to work about six police cars were here and they opened the truck doors and there were two men and a pregnant woman inside.

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"The police just took them down and they had to search the rest of the lorry. They had been banging because they could tell the lorry had stopped and they wanted to get out.

"I don't know how they got inside the truck, whether they got in at Germany or at Calais, I don't know. There needs to be more security. They looked starving and who knows how long they had been in there.”

Manager Theo Koulli says the truck is refrigerated to just 1C.

The 61-year-old said: "They took the lady to hospital as she was heavily pregnant and the two lads they took for questioning.

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“It's never happened before and I don't know how they got through customs without being checked, they shouldn't have got through the scanner.

"The wagon has a freezer at the front and at the back it is refrigerated to just one degree Celsius, it would have been very cold. I felt sorry for the lady because she was so heavily pregnant and she felt she had to do that.

"They were sat on mayonnaise in round tubs and there was a pallet with tubs of coleslaw on and they had been eating it so it had to be thrown away because it was contaminated."

A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said: "Officers were called to a report of people in a lorry on Davenport Street in Longport at around 8.15am (December 12).

"Colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service attended to check two men and a woman who were found in a lorry. One woman was taken to hospital.

"A 16-year-old boy and 27-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of illegal entry to UK. They remain in custody."