BRITAIN is the latest target for ‘boat people’ as 18 Albanians and two British men were rescued from a sinking inflatable boat by coastguards off the Kent coast on Sunday May 29.
It is suggested that this could be the start of a new wave of people smuggling although it is to be noted that, on this occasion, all of those trying to get into Britain were natives of Albania, which is potentially a future member of the European Union.
The boat that was in danger of sinking was rescued off of the coast of Dymchurch, but perhaps more worryingly, the Home Office has confirmed that a second boat was discovered on the beach of the seaside town, perhaps having successfully unloaded its passengers.
This discovery follows the recent arrest of another 17 Albanians and a British man in the Chichester Marina and suggests that this could be an ongoing problem regardless of the result of the referendum but with the English Channel being one of the busiest stretches of water in the world, there is also the fear of collisions and injury as well as illegal immigration.
The two British ‘smugglers’ Robert Stilwell aged 33 and Mark Stribling aged 35 both from Kent were charged with conspiring to facilitate the entry of non-EU nationals, and remanded in custody to appear before Maidstone Crown Court on June 27.
The UK Border Force operates a fleet of five patrol boats, known as cutters, with one based in the Aegean Sea and three now on regular patrol.