Mr Slowley and Mr Collins pinned down suspected illegal immigrants after they jumped from a lorry
No-nonsense construction workers Justin Slowley, 47, and Andy Collins, 28, were fitting out new flats when they overheard the lorry driver yelling “danger, danger”.
Two migrants, believed to be from Iraq, tried to make a run for it from the vehicle in Leigh, Essex, which was delivering kitchens from Italy on Wednesday morning.
But the builders grabbed and detained the men until armed police arrived at the scene shortly after 10am, and they will now be interviewed by immigration officials.
But the builders grabbed and detained the men until armed police arrived
Two men were pushing their way out so I grabbed one of them and put him in a choke hold while Justin grabbed the other bloke
Mr Collins said: “When the driver went to the back he was shouting 'danger, danger' so we rushed over thinking one of the units was falling.
“Instead two men were pushing their way out so I grabbed one of them and put him in a choke hold while Justin grabbed the other bloke.
“We did feel sorry for them, they said they came from Iraq and must have been scared for their lives but they should have done things through the proper channels.
The two migrants will now be interviewed by immigration officials
“There was a rock in the lorry which they could have used or a bottle of urine they could have thrown on us. We didn't think, we acted.“
After officers turned up, the lorry driver had to search through the 40ft vehicle with police to make sure no one else was inside.
Mr Slowley, who works for JLS Building Services based in Southend, Essex, with Mr Collins, said: “I grabbed one of the guys and held him up against the lorry, he was primed to leg it.
“I had him at his neck, by his jacket, and he undid the zip but we told them to sit down and wait for the police.
The lorry the suspected illegal immigrants jumped from in Leigh in Essex
“They looked quite young – maybe in their 20s. I think the one I grabbed had done it before because he just kept telling me to let him go.
“They were obviously prepared, they had sleeping bags, gloves and scarves.”
Leigh ward councillor, Bernard Arscott said: “It is not something you ever expect to happen in Leigh – it is the first instance i have heard of.
“They must have travelled a considerable distance.”
Migrants go to extreme lengths to cross borders Fri, October 7, 2016
Desperate migrants fleeing Syria and surrounding places have been trying to sneak across borders in incredible ways. These include hiding in suitcases and sleeping next to car bonnets
Play slideshow 1 of 40
An Essex police spokesman said: “Officers attended. Two men have been detained. Police have notified the Border Force.”
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Immigration Enforcement was contacted by Essex Police.
“Police arrested two men for suspected immigration offences and they will be interviewed by immigration officials.
“Where someone has no right to remain in the UK, we will take action to remove them.”