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Migrants: 32 more picked up in Channel, some heading for Dover, Border Force involved

By Sam Lennon

Another 32 migrants were picked up in two incidents on the British side of the Channel yesterday morning.

It adds up to five cases in two days involving a total 61 people.

At about 4am yesterday Border Force was alerted to s small boat in UK waters heading towards Dover.

One of the migrant boats was seen heading towards Dover
One of the migrant boats was seen heading towards Dover

HMC Seeker was sent out and picked up 13 people, made up of six men, two women and five children.

They said they were Iraqi and Iranian nationals.

A Home Office spokesman said: "All people on board were taken to Tug Haven in Dover to receive medical assessment. All people on board have been found to be well."

The second incident yesterday was at about 9am when HM Coastguard was alerted to a small boat in the Channel.

Border Force intercepted the vessel, which had 19 people.

These were 15 men, two women and two children who again claimed to be Iraqi and Iranian.

The Home Office spokesman said: "Border Force transferred 10 to a Border Force Coastal Patrol Vessel and nine to a Border Force cutter.

"All of those on board both boats have transferred to immigration officials for interview."

On Saturday there had been two incidents when 11 people were picked up in a boat off the Channel and then another nine were found south of Folkestone.

Also yesterday nine were found off the French coast and taken to Calais.

Last Thursday Home Office figures showed that more than 700 migrants planned or tried to reach Britain via the Channel in small boats from January 2018 to February this year.

Landings and sightings have also happened at Kingsdown near Deal and Romney Marsh.

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke said after those figures came out: "The Home Office and the French are not in control of the Channel. This will lead to more arrivals and a return to the bad old days of the Calais Jungle.

“We need 24/7 surveillance and a joint security zone. It's no good sitting around talking about this. It's time for action.”

The Jungle was a migrant came on the east side of Calais, which at its peak had 10,000 inhabitants. It was shut down and demolished in October 2016.

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