Sixteen illegal immigrants were found hiding in the back of a lorry as it made a delivery to an Eastbourne pharmaceutical company on Tuesday lunchtime.
They are all believed to be Syrian and Iranian families and 14 adults were taken into custody by the UK Border Agency while two teenagers were put in temporary foster care.
The 55-year-old Dutch driver was arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry into the UK.
The stowaways were discovered as the foreign registered lorry made a delivery to Teva in Brampton Road at 12.17pm after arriving from Germany via the Channel Tunnel.
An employee alerted the police and officers surrounded the building.
A spokesperson at Sussex Police said, “Initial enquiries reveal the people are Syrian or Iranian and consist of family groups. All appear to be in reasonable health and the lorry was ventilated. Fourteen have been transferred to the custody of the UKBA and two unaccompanied juveniles, aged 12 and 15, are in temporary foster care.
“The 55-year old Dutch driver was arrested by police at Eastbourne on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry into the UK, and has subsequently been released on bail until July while enquiries continue.
“Police will be working with the UKBA. Enquiries are at an early stage and no further information is available at this stage.”