Lorry drivers faced fines of more than £5 million last year for carrying illegal immigrants into Britain, the Immigration Minister has revealed.
In the year to April hauliers were fined a total of £5,249,894 under immigration laws, a fall from the near £6.5 million in the previous year.
James Brokenshire released the figures as Europe prepares for another summer migration crisis, with thousands of migrants still making perilous and sometimes fatal journeys from Africa and the Middle East, often fleeing conflict or persecution.
The Court of Appeal on Tuesday rejected a legal challenge by a foreign company to the Government's system for imposing civil penalties on hauliers found to have migrant stowaways.
Fines for lorry drivers have soared since 2013/14 when they hit the £4 million mark.
The figures, released in response to a written parliamentary question from Conservative Gareth Johnson (Dartford), also showed that last year 36 hauliers appealed against their fines, compared with 64 in the previous year.