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11 Chinese nationals found in furniture, washing machine in US human smuggling attempt

11 Chinese nationals found in furniture, washing machine in US human smuggling attempt

United States border officials free several Chinese nationals from a chest and a washing machine. (Photos: Twitter/CBP San Diego)

SAN DIEGO: A human smuggling attempt was uncovered where 11 people were found hidden in various pieces of furniture and a washing machine, United States border officials said on Monday (Dec 9).

The Chinese nationals were concealed in a truck that had arrived from Mexico, the US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) said in a media release.

They were found by border protection officers at the San Ysidro border crossing in the city of San Diego on Dec 7 at around 5.30pm.

Several people were found hidden in pieces of furniture. (Photo: Twitter/CBP San Diego)

Upon further inspection, border officers discovered and freed some of the Chinese nationals from a washing machine, chest and dresser.

“CBP cannot stress enough the dangers of smuggling people. These are human beings that smugglers subject to inhumane conditions that could have deadly consequences," said Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations for San Diego, Pete Flores. 

Flores added that no one was seriously injured. The truck driver, a 42-year-old male US citizen, was arrested.

A total of 11 Chinese nationals were found on the truck. (Photo: Twitter/CBP San Diego)

US authorities also placed an immigration hold on the 11 Chinese nationals who will face criminal and immigration proceedings.

This not the first time that a human smuggling attempt has been made at the San Ysidro port of entry.

In November, border officials found six Chinese nationals concealed in a false wall of a moving truck.

Source: CNA/zl(mn)

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