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Border Force intercepts three boats carrying 49 migrants crossing English Channel off Kent coast

Border Force officials have brought 49 migrants to Dover after three boats crossing the English Channel were intercepted today.

It comes after 35 were detained last Friday and a further 76 tried to make the journey the day before.

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A Border Force cutter intercepted three boats. Stock picture: Susan Pilcher
A Border Force cutter intercepted three boats. Stock picture: Susan Pilcher

The Border Force and partner agencies were first alerted to a RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) travelling towards the UK at 5.30am.

Half an hour later two other RHIBs were intercepted.

In total there were 43 males and six females on board.

All the migrants were brought to Dover and will be assessed to establish whether they have any medical requirements.

The French have also dealt with two incidents today, involving 31 people – all of whom were prevented from travelling to the UK.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, Chris Philp, said: “We are all working night and day to dismantle and arrest the criminal gangs who trade in people smuggling.

“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.

“Over 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.”

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