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Migrants found in tanker at Dover

Thirteen migrants were found in a tanker containing plastic granules at the Port of Dover in Kent, it has emerged.

The males - 11 from Syria and two from Afghanistan - were fit and well when Border Force and Home Office immigration enforcement officers attended.

The migrants, found yesterday afternoon at Dover's Eastern Docks, were to be interviewed by Kent social services to assess their ages.

They will be passed into the care of the county's social services department if they are found to be minors. No action is being taken against the tanker's driver.

The 13 migrants are the latest group to be detained at Dover amid concerns from the British freight industry about migrants' increasingly desperate attempts to reach the UK from Calais.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called for the European Union to bring in stricter border controls to deal with what it describes as a "worsening situation".

More than 3,000 people have signed an e-petition demanding the UK Government helps solve the problems faced by British truckers.

They want fines of up to £2,000 per migrant, imposed on lorry drivers and hauliers if stowaways are caught hiding in their vehicles, to be abolished.

Truckers have complained about armed attacks from people trying to board vehicles destined for the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We work closely with the police to tackle illegal immigration and continue to strengthen the security of our border to stop those who have no right to enter the UK.

"If people have a genuine need of protection they should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.

"If they are just seeking to evade immigration control they need to know that they are risking their lives and that they will get caught.

"The new Immigration Act makes it harder for people to live in the UK illegally.

"It makes it harder for illegal immigrants to abuse our benefits and public services, and makes it easier for us to remove them by reducing the number of appeals."


From Belfast Telegraph