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Men arrested in Manchester over Channel migrant crossings


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Two men have been arrested on suspicion of helping migrants cross the Channel.

An estimated 220 people have tried to cross into Kent since November, with two Border Force ships being redeployed from the Mediterranean to tackle the ongoing crisis.

The National Crime Agency said tonight a 33-year-old Iranian and 24-year-old Briton had been arrested in Manchester.

A French rescue of migrants last week. Picture: ©Gendarmeriemaritime
A French rescue of migrants last week. Picture: ©Gendarmeriemaritime

The agency added: "As the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time."

At the weekend six Iranian men were pictured on Kingsdown Beach after making the crossing and on Wednesday morning Border Force officers were called to another group in Greatstone.

Border Force officials deal with the incident on Kingsdown Beach
Border Force officials deal with the incident on Kingsdown Beach

On Friday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared the matter a "major incident" prompting him to cut short a family holiday in South Africa to deal with it.

Immigration Minister's Caroline Nokes also visited Dover this week.

She defended the government's handling of the rise in migrants crossing the Channel.

She told media that the number of patrol boats was being "constantly reviewed", but it was "feasible that were we to put additional craft they might act as a magnet - encouraging people to make a perilous crossing".

She said the UK was working with France to try to prevent migrants from setting out in the first place as well as to find the most effective route for returns "for those who it is appropriate for."

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