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16 migrants intercepted in Channel as they headed towards Kent

By Joe Wright

Sixteen migrants making their way across the Channel in a small boat have been intercepted by Border Force.

The group, made up of 12 men, two women and two children, were spotted in early hours of this morning.

French authorities alerted Border Force, who were deployed before the small boat reached Kent shores.

A Border Force cutter intercepted the group off the Kent coast. Stock Picture: Susan Pilcher.
A Border Force cutter intercepted the group off the Kent coast. Stock Picture: Susan Pilcher.

Believed to be a mix of Iranian and Iraqi nationals, the group were transferred onto a cutter vessel and brought to Dover.

Uninjured, they have now been transferred to immigration officials for interview.

Join an ever-growing list of dozens of attempted crossings, Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has called for a cross-Channel security zone to be set up.

In a tweet posted this afternoon, Mr Elphicke says the current set-up aimed at tackling criminality at the border is "clearly not working".

Charlie Elphicke MP is calling for change
Charlie Elphicke MP is calling for change

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

“It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.”

The Home Secretary declared a major incident over the ongoing migrant crisis in December.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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