Four stowaways were caught at the Channel Tunnel after they snuck inside a lorry bound for Bicester.

The group, three Vietnamese and one Iraqi, were discovered by Border Agency officers working at the Coquelles Channel Tunnel terminal in France last month.

They were hiding inside a Hungarian registered vehicle which was carrying a load to Brita Water Filters, in Granville Way, Bicester.

The stowaways were handed over to French Border Police, and the vehicle was allowed to continue its journey.

But the Border Agency warned both the driver and the haulage company face potential fines if they are unable to prove they took steps to secure their vehicles.

Carole Upshall, UK Border Agency director for South and Europe, said: “This incident shows why we base UK Border Agency staff in France — to stop would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK.

“Our strong presence in French ports helps protect the whole of the UK from people attempting to enter the country illegally.”

UK Border Agency officers use sniffer dogs, heartbeat detectors, carbon dioxide probes and physical searches to find people hiding in vehicles.