Two suspected illegal immigrants from Africa were discovered by a lorry driver as he pulled in to fill up with petrol.

Officers rushed to the BP petrol station in East Mayne, Basildon.

Witnesses saw the men, aged 23 and 25, being arrested and dealt with.

Helen Barratt, of Laindon said: “I was just coming out of the shop after paying for my petrol and saw these men get taken away.

“It’s all everyone has been talking about in the town.

“I saw lots of people talking about this on Facebook.

“I think it’s very shocking to hear of an incident like this happening here.”

Pam Hurdshaw, 56, of Pitsea added: “I’ve never known anything like it.

“It sounds like police have taken swift action in this case.

“I think this will make people feel safer that police are checking what is happening in our community.”

A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed two men were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences at a service station in East Mayne, Basildon, last night.

He said: “We were called to the BP garage shortly after 8.35pm.

“The men, aged 24 and 25, have since been transferred to Border Force.”

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Immigration Enforcement was contacted by Essex Police at around 12.40am yesterday after police officers attended an incident in East Mayne, Basildon.

“Police officers arrested two men, aged 23 and 25, on suspicion of entering the UK illegally.

“They presented themselves as Eritrean nationals.

“They will be interviewed by Home Office officials and their cases dealt with according to the immigration rules.”