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Home Office confirms fifth group of migrants found at Dover

By Sam Lennon

Migrants have been found in Kent for the fifth time this week.

It has now involved a total 47 migrants, one a four-year-old.

The latest confirmed case is also the fourth in two days.

Port of Dover
Port of Dover

This time 10 men saying they were Iranian were escorted into Dover on their fishing boat.

A Home Office spokesman said: “This morning at around 9.15am, Border Force was alerted by HM Coastguard and the RNLI to a fishing vessel with 10 people on board off the Kent Coast.

“The vessel was escorted into Dover by the lifeboat where it was met by Border Force officers.

“The 10 men presented themselves as Iranian nationals. The Home Office will progress their cases in accordance with the immigration rules.”

Just before 5am today nine people, eight adults and a four-year-old boy, were found in a dinghy near Dover.

It follows the rescue of seven migrants last week, the interception of 17 migrants yesterday morning and the finding of seven men in a lorry yesterday afternoon.

Charlie Elphicke MP. Picture from the office of Charlie Elphicke
Charlie Elphicke MP. Picture from the office of Charlie Elphicke

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “To see so many brazen attempts to break into Britain in one week is deeply concerning.

“That people are taking the risk of crossing such a busy shipping route on small craft – some even with young children on board – shows just how desperate they are.

“It underlines yet again why we need to increase the number of vessels patrolling our border.

"Having just two cutters is simply not enough of a deterrent.

“The Home Office must act urgently to tackle this growing problem by boosting our borders budget and the number of skilled officers.

“Meanwhile, the French urgently need to get a grip of the situation – and stop these people from embarking on such dangerous journeys."

Dover Harbour
Dover Harbour

Overnight last Thursday and Friday seven migrants in a small dinghy were found in a small dinghy near Dover.

They said they were Iranian.

HM Coastguard and the RNLI intercepted the boat, a Border Force vessels arrived and the group were taken for interview by immigration officials.

Yesterday morning 14 men with three children tried to land a fishing boat at Dover Harbour before being stopped.

Border Force officials, helped by the port authority and coastguards, boarded the vessel.

They said they were all Iranian.

The adults were dealt with by the Home Office and the children referred to social services.

Yesterday at about 2.50pm seven men were found hiding in a lorry that arrived in Dover from Calais.

They were found by Port of Dover Police after a search of the vehicle.

Three said they were Iranian, four said they were Iraqi.

One Iranian was taken to hospital and the other six men were referred to immigration officials for interview.

Today, just before 5am, nine people were found in a dinghy near Dover.

A Border Force vessel, with the RNLI and HM Coastguard, intercepted it and escorted it to Dover Western Docks.

The Home Office now confirms that the group consisted of a family of three, a man, woman and four-year-old boy, and six men.

All presented themselves as Iranian.

Paramedics found all fit and well and they were interviewed by immigration officials.

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