Driver faces no criminal charges after 31 immigrants found in lorry in Portsmouth​​​​​​

THE driver of a lorry which was found to be carrying a group of 31 immigrants in Portsmouth faces no criminal charges. 

Officials have said there was no evidence to suggest the man in charge of the vehicle, which was labelled ‘Ricardo Paul’, found in Quartremaine Road, Copnor, shortly after 8am on Tuesday was ‘complicit’ in the incident. 

Police dealing with 32 suspected illegal immigrants found in a lorry in Portsmouth this morning. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Police dealing with 32 suspected illegal immigrants found in a lorry in Portsmouth this morning. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Home Office have confirmed he faces no criminal charges and say he is not subject to any ongoing investigation. 

As previously reported, 31 people were referred to the Home Office after the incident two days ago. 

A total of 22 men between the ages of 20 and 30 remained in immigration detention for interviews on Tuesday afternoon – with 18 presenting themselves as Iraqi and three as Iranian. 

One did not declare his nationality. 

READ MORE: What happens to suspected illegal immigrants who arrive in Portsmouth?

Five unaccompanied minors, aged 16 to 17, all presented themselves as Iraqi and were referred to social services. 

Meanwhile a family of four, including two children aged two and four, presented themselves as Iraqi and were taken to hospital – before being discharged into police care with an obligation to report to the Home Office regularly while their case is ‘progressed’. 

A spokesperson for the Home Office said on Tuesday all cases linked to the incident would be ‘progressed in line with UK immigration rules’ – with action set to be taken where someone has ‘no right to remain in the UK’. 

READ MORE: 31 immigrants found in Portsmouth lorry – here’s everything we know so far

It was also confirmed the group did not arrive in Portsmouth via Portsmouth International Port. 

The Home Office has said it ‘does not provide running commentaries’ on immigration cases.