Author: Darin Graham
Britain’s border authorities intercepted a number of small boats containing a total of 40 migrants who attempted to cross the English Channel overnight and Tuesday morning.
The UK Home Office said it deployed resources to “deal with these incidents” and added that evidence suggests organised criminal gang activity is behind the migration attempts.
“We are working closely with the French and law enforcement partners to target these gangs, who exploit vulnerable people and put lives at risk,” a Home Office spokesperson said.
“In total Border Force is aware that 40 migrants have crossed the Channel today (Tuesday 25 December) and are currently in the UK.”
There were a total of five incidents overnight, the Home Office said.
Migrants included two children and people who claimed to be Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan nationals.
In one incident, off the coast of Deal, Kent – authorities intercepted a dinghy with 13 on board.
Another group of eight migrants arrived in Folkestone and a Border Force cutter was deployed to assist a further dinghy in the Channel with eight people on board.
The Home Office said its authorities also assisted French maritime officials in an incident off the coast of France involving a vessel which turned back after an engine failure, with nine people on board.
The Border Force was made aware of a final incident at 9.20am on Tuesday, a small boat with two onboard travelling towards the UK.
All 40 migrants underwent a medical assessment. The adults have been transferred to immigration officials to be interviewed and the two minors have been transferred to social services, the Home Office said.