FISHING Vessel Hiding 69 Migrants Intercepted by UK Border Force in Channel.
The interception, which was one of the biggest this year, took place in bad weather and the 69 Albanian migrants were found huddled together beneath the deck. The fishing vessel was escorted into Harwich harbour where the migrants were later being questioned about alleged immigration offences.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) also arrested the vessel’s three crew members – two Ukrainians and a Latvian. They were being questioned on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration. It is understood the 30-metre boat had sailed the night before from Ostend in Belgium and was intercepted off Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I’ve been clear that I’ll use every arm of the law to break up the ruthless gangs who facilitate this criminal activity. Yesterday’s operation was a big win for our intelligence and law enforcement agencies who have halted a serious illegal enterprise and cut off a source of funding for an organised criminal gang.
“We are unapologetically returning migrants who have no right to stay in the UK to safe countries with flights every week and will do whatever we can to make this route unviable. My thanks go to all our operational partners for their role in the important criminal investigation.”
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