NINE men who were found in the back of a lorry at Oxford services had travelled more than 3,300 miles from Africa, the Home Office has confirmed.

At around 3.30pm on Monday, a passer-by called 999 after they thought people could be inside a parked HGV container.

More than 10 police cars, vans and ambulance crews swarmed the area and taped off an electric blue lorry parked in a bay just off the M40.

Police confirmed that nine men had been found inside.

They were all given the once over by paramedics before being arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and ‘handed over’ to Border Force UK at 10.30pm that evening.

A spokesperson at the Home Office department said that the nine men, who identified themselves as Eritrean, were then sent to custody cells in Aylesbury, Maidenhead and Newbury.

As of last night, they were all still being questioned in police custody.

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One eye-witness said they had seen police taping off the area and searching a lorry.

The services, at junction 8, has a BP petrol garage, Starbucks, KFC, taxi company and hotel.

An employee at the BP garage said they couldn’t see anything clearly from their shop but could see a lot of police in the area.

They mentioned spotting two ambulance crews who had gone within hours.

South Central Ambulance Service said they checked the men were okay before handing them over to police.

In an emergency always call the services on 999.