French border sortie

It’s enough to put you off all those Easter eggs…. according to a story on the BBC’s news website, a group of seven stowaways in Calais were recently instructed by their trafficker to hide themselves inside a tanker load of warm chocolate.

The idea was that they would stay there only until the truck, which was parked up and displaying a card that showed it was bound for the UK via Eurotunnel, got onto the train.

The stowaways got in via a roof hatch and clung on for dear life up to their necks in uncomfortably hot chocolate. After two hours, the truck hadn’t moved and after some debate, the group decided to get out – no easy matter covered in heavy, sticky chocolate – and return to their camp in the woods, leaving chocolate footprints for some 300 yards.

Apart from any DNA they must have left behind, one of them also lost a shoe in the tanker in the struggle to get out.

We'd never question the BBC's integrity but we still can’t quite decide if the story, posted on 31 March, was an early April Fool’s gag or not. The very fact we’re considering it might be true, though, speaks volumes about the lengths to which clandestines and their gang-masters will go and the scale of the problem that continues to face border authorities on a daily basis.

Whether the tanker load of chocolate was eventually delivered and used as planned is also playing on our minds a bit as we approach this Easter weekend, we must admit…