UK detains dozens of Albanian migrants after boat interception
British police and immigration officials arrested 72 people, including 69 Albanian migrants, on Wednesday after intercepting a fishing boat off the coast of eastern England.
The joint operation, involving the National Crime Agency (NCA), Border Force and Immigration Enforcement, saw the 30-metre vessel stopped in waters near Great Yarmouth late Tuesday.
The boat had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium, and was accompanied into Harwich harbour in Essex, according to the NCA.
There officials arrested three crew members — a Latvian national and two Ukrainians — on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.
Meanwhile the 69 Albanians were arrested for suspected immigration offences.
“This was clearly a significant incident and a significant attempt to breach the UK’s border controls,” NCA Deputy Director of Investigations Craig Naylor said in a statement.
“We are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle people smuggling networks, and prevent them from exploiting migrants for profit.”
Britain has faced a spike in illegal migration this year, but this has been largely focused on the cross-Channel route from northern France to the coastline of Kent in southeast England.