UK: 3 boats carrying 40 migrants intercepted in just one day

All three groups claimed to be Iranian and Iraqi nationals

Monday 05 August - So far this year, 793 suspected migrants have been caught by British officials. Now 40 migrants have been detained by Border Force in just one day after crossing the English channel.

Two groups landed on the Kent coast while another - including young children - were found by police on the Sussex coast on Saturday. Several men were spotted on the beach at Dungeness early on Saturday after crossing the Channel in a small boat.

Border Force officials intercepted 20 people at various locations around Dungeness after they arrived in the small craft.

The group - who claimed to be Iranian and Iraqi nationals - were medically assessed and found to be well, before being transferred to immigration centres to be interviewed.

In a second incident, a Border Force cutter intercepted a small boat and brought 11 men to shore at Dover. The men also claimed they were Iraqi and Iranian nationals.

Further west, six adults and three children were found by police on the Sussex coast having arrived in a small boat.

The adults were transferred to immigration officials to be interviewed while the children were placed in the care of social services. The group also told officials they were Iranian and Iraqi nationals.

A Home Office spokesman said: 'Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

'Since December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas operations, we have agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.'

He added: 'It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 50 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe.' 

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