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Migrants stopped in English Channel and taken to Dover

More migrants have been intercepted in the English Channel and taken to Dover, with estimates around 80 people have been found this morning.

Border Force has confirmed it is dealing with 'a number of ongoing small boat incidents off the Kent coast."

Two of the boats intercepted on Friday morning by Border Force. More crossings have been stopped today Picture: Chris Johnson
Two of the boats intercepted on Friday morning by Border Force. More crossings have been stopped today Picture: Chris Johnson

Eyewitness Chris Johnson, who has been documenting the boats being towed back into Dover, has said today's tally stands at around 80 people.

It comes after several boats containing asylum seekers were stopped in the English Channel yesterday morning.

Chris Philp, minister for immigration compliance and the courts, said:“We are all working night and day to dismantle and arrest the criminal gangs who trade in people smuggling.

"Just yesterday, the Home Secretary had a very positive call with her French Counterpart Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, about border security and emphasised that it was more important than ever to work closely together.

“Criminals are abusing vulnerable men, women and children by trafficking them across the Channel. This illegal and criminal activity is subject to heavy law enforcement activity by Border Force, the National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement and French law enforcement.

“More than 1,100 migrants were arrested in France in the first quarter of this year and in 2019 Immigration Enforcement made 418 arrests, leading to 203 convictions for a total of 437 years.

“Our actions are focussed on going after the criminals perpetrating these crimes and prosecuting them for their criminal activity.”

The Home Office also said several rigid-hulled inflatable boats - or RHIBS - were towed into Dover over several hours on Friday.

Last month saw the first interceptions since lockdown, with 76 migrants being halted on Friday, April 24.

Since then 84 asylum seekers have been stopped - with 35 detained on Saturday, April 25. Six days ago 49 people were found.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover


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