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CBP

PHOTOS: 11 Chinese migrants found hiding in furniture, washing machine at border crossing

CBP officers found 11 Chinese nationals hidden inside furniture inside a moving truck at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Customs and Border Protection/Released)

Eleven Chinese migrants were caught trying to get into the U.S. by stuffing themselves into several pieces of furniture inside a truck that tried to cross the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday, federal authorities said.

The brazen human smuggling attempt was thwarted at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, Calif., during a routine inspection, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

CBP officers found 11 Chinese nationals hidden inside furniture inside a moving truck at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Customs and Border Protection/Released)

The migrants, all of whom appeared to be adults, were hiding inside a washing machine, a dresser, a chest and other furniture, the agency said in a news release. The driver, identified only as a 42-year-old U.S. citizen, was taken into custody and will face criminal charges.

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“CBP cannot stress enough the dangers of smuggling people,” Pete Flores, a CBP director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement. “These are human beings that smugglers subject to inhumane conditions that could have deadly consequences.”

CBP officers found 11 Chinese nationals hidden inside furniture inside a moving truck at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Customs and Border Protection/Released)

None of the migrants was seriously injured, Flores said. An immigration hold was placed on the group as they await criminal proceedings, according to the agency.

The incident follows a series of foiled smuggling attempts in California. On Nov. 7, authorities said six Chinese nationals were caught hiding behind a false wall in a truck that tried to cross the border through the San Ysidro port of entry.

Just weeks later, a 17-year-old Mexican migrant was found hidden in the dashboard compartment of a Ford Taurus at the Calexico West port of entry in California, CBP officials said. A day later, an 18-year-old Mexican citizen was allegedly caught inside a bolted-down seat compartment of a Ford Focus that was stopped at the Otay Mesa port of entry — also in San Diego.

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© 2019 New York Daily News