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New migrant cases at Dover, St Margaret's Bay and off Dungeness, Border Force called

By Sam Lennon

Three new migrant cases have now all been confirmed.

One, involving 16 people, happened three days ago and there were two today involving eight people.

The Home Office confirmed that on Tuesday, at around 3am 16 men, women and children were found at Dover Eastern Docks.

A Border Force coastal patrol vessel
A Border Force coastal patrol vessel

Two small boats were also discovered nearby and it is though the group had used these to land.

These were medically assessed and found to be well.

The group was transferred to immigration officials for interview and all presented themselves as Iraqi nationals.

Meanwhile, at about 6am today, the Border Force was alerted to a small boat travelling across the Channel heading towards the UK.

A Border Force cutter was sent out and located a RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) in St Margaret’s Bay.

Border Force ground staff were sent to the area and one person was detained.

General view of Dungeness
General view of Dungeness

At 7.30am the Border Force was alerted to another RHIB heading towards the Dungeness area.

Both a cutter and coastal patrol vessel went out and stopped the small craft.

Seven people on board were transferred to the cutter.

All eight people in today's incidents were men who presented themselves as Iranian nationals.

They were medically assessed and transferred to immigration officials for interview.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Anyone crossing the Channel – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – is taking a huge risk with their life.

“Since the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, declared a major incident in December we have tripled the number of cutters operating in the Channel, agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.”

These are the latest in several migrant crossings over the last four months.

From November 8 to today, 368 people arrived on the coast in 43 incidents.

Incidents have also occurred in the Dover, Deal and Folkestone areas and Romney Marsh.

On March 2, hundreds of migrants stormed the Port of Calais to try to get on board a DFDS ferry.

At the end of February, a family were found on Kingsdown Beach.

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