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Six boats carrying 90 migrants intercepted before reaching Kent

Six boats carrying 90 migrants were intercepted in the Channel before they could reach Kent.

All the boats were stopped by Border Force as they attempted to travel from France to the UK yesterday.

A Border Force cutter intercepted six crossings yesterday. Stock picture: Susan Pilcher
A Border Force cutter intercepted six crossings yesterday. Stock picture: Susan Pilcher

Everyone on board was brought to Dover to be assessed.

The Home Office has described the attempted crossings as "reckless acts facilitated by criminals that we are determined to stop".

The government department says their priority is to "arrest and dismantle" the "dangerous criminal gangs" behind the crossings.

In the first incident, a Border Force coastal patrol vessel intercepted a boat which was carrying a group of 10 men who presented themselves as Sudanese and Libyan.

In the second incident a boat carrying 12 men from Syria and Iran was stopped, and in the third a vessel carrying 14 men who presented themselves as Syrian, Iranian, Senegalese, Iraqi and Yemeni was discovered.

'These incidents are the result of criminals smuggling people into the country illegally...'

The fourth, fifth and sixth boats intercepted by Border Force were carrying 11 men and four women, 21 men and four women and 11 men and three women respectively.

The people on board these boats presented themselves as Algerian, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, Eritrean and Afghan.

All 90 people were brought to Dover and were assessed to establish whether there were any medical requirements.

Speaking yesterday after the landings, minister for immigration compliance and the courts Chris Philp said: "Today's incidents are the result of criminals smuggling people into the country illegally.

"Criminal intelligence continues to be shared between the NCA (National Crime Agency) and French authorities and substantial French law enforcement deployment prevented a number of further boats crossing this morning.

"Today’s cases have been dealt with in line with the immigration rules, including detention where appropriate.

"The migrants have left a safe country and we are seeking to return specific cases where appropriate."

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