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Two boats of suspected Iranian migrants picked up in English Channel | UK News

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Fifteen Iranian men have been found in two boats in the English Channel, a day after a family of seven were discovered in the same area.

Wearing life jackets and using blankets, they were brought ashore at Dover by the Border Force on Monday afternoon.

The Home Office said 11 men were being interviewed by immigration officials and a further four had been arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry to the UK.



Migrant frisked after coming ashore.



A suspected migrant, one of 15 Iranian men picked up near Dover, was filmed being frisked by officials.

The Border Force was alerted to the first boat at about 9am and the second at about 12pm, in what was described as an “ongoing incident”.

On Sunday, a mother, father and five children were also interviewed after an empty dinghy was spotted in the Channel, just north of Dover.

A group of Iranian migrants were picked up by Border Force officials
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The 15 men were found in two small boats

Some 857 Iranians sought asylum in the UK in the third quarter of 2018, compared with 643 in the same period of 2017.

One of the reasons for the increase is believed to be the effect of US economic sanctions imposed on Iran, with many young people struggling to find work.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared a “major incident” in December after an increase in the number of migrants being picked up.

A group of Iranian migrants were picked up by Border Force officials
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The Home Office said the men were interviewed by immigration officials

He said the situation was of “grave concern” and that people were “gambling their lives in reckless attempts to reach the UK in unsafe boats and treacherous conditions”.

The Home Office has tripled the number of Border Force boats operating in the Channel and agreed a joint action plan with France since the announcement.

The number of migrants trying to cross the Channel dropped from around 250 in December to 90 in January.

French authorities intercepted around half of the attempts to reach the UK in the first month of 2019.

There are concerns the Channel crossings could result in migrant deaths if a dinghy capsizes.

In January, Sky News spoke to a migrant who had attempted to reach the UK by boat but had to be rescued by French authorities after the vessel’s engine cut out and it began filling with water.

He had paid smugglers €500 (£433) for the journey and was told he would be killed if he did not board the boat.

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