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Home   Kent   News   Article

Asylum seekers have been caught trying to enter Dover in inflatable dinghy

27 June 2014
by Beth Robson

Suspected asylum seekers, trying to enter the UK in a rubber dinghy bound for Dover, are in the hands of UK Border Agency staff after they were towed ashore this morning.

A Romanian man has been arrested and a criminal investigation has been launched. 

The inflatable dinghy, carrying nine adults, was spotted by staff on the bridge of the P&O Spirit of Britain at about 6am, this morning.  

Left to right Dover lifeboat, HM Border Agency's cutter, the suspected asylum seekers' inflatable boat being towed by the cutter's RIB (right)

Left to right: Dover lifeboat, HM Border Agency's cutter, the suspected asylum seekers' inflatable boat being towed by the cutter's RIB (right)

A HM Coastguard spokeswoman said: "They were seen heading for St Margaret's Bay by one of the ferries. 

"We launched Dover Lifeboat and contacted the customs cutters."

"A criminal investigation has been launched by immigration enforcement officers" - Border Force spokesman

The HM Border Agency cutter joined the lifeboat off the coast and launched its own inflatable vessel to tow the boat.

It entered the harbour at about 9am and moored at the lifeboat's base at Cross Wall Quay. 

A Border Force spokesperson said: A Border Force cutter this morning attended an incident off the coast of Dover involving an inflatable craft carrying suspected illegal immigrants.

"One Romanian male has been arrested on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration and eight Afghan nationals have been detained.

"A criminal investigation has been launched by immigration enforcement officers."

Tonight it is not known where they are being held.  

This picture was shared on Twitter by @Peter Baldwin123 at 9.30am.  

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