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Migrants brought ashore to Dover after being spotted them in the sea at Folkestone

By Beth Robson

Immigration officials are interviewing a group of migrants after they were seen on a small boat off the coast this afternoon.

The vessel was reported to have contained 14 people - 11 men, one woman and two children.

The Home Office confirmed that a Border Force cutter identified the craft in the water by Folkestone headed for shore at 1pm.

Border Force officers have been dealing with increased numbers of migrants making crossings in small boats
Border Force officers have been dealing with increased numbers of migrants making crossings in small boats

A spokesman said a team was launched from the cutter and intercepted the vessel, which had 14 people on board.

"They were transferred to the cutter and brought to Dover, where they were medically assessed and passed to immigration officials for interview," the spokesman said.

"The group consisted of nine men, a woman and two minors who presented themselves as Iraqi nationals and two men who presented themselves as Iranian nationals."

It comes amid the home office appealed to members of the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious that could be serious organised crime or terrorism.

The joint law enforcement partnership, called Project Kracken, includes UK Border Force, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Kent Police.

The Home Office took out a full page advert in KentOnline's sister paper the Dover Mercury today, seemingly targeting those living in the Dover area.

These are the shores which has been the worst hit in Kent with an influx of migrants arriving on small boats, particularly in mild weather.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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