Friday, January 18, 2019
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Channel migrants arrested

Channel migrants arrestedThe UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) made two arrests on suspicion of arranging illegal movement of migrants across the English Channel into Britain.

A 33-year-old Iranian national and a 24-year-old British man were arrested in Manchester, the NCA said in a statement without giving further details.

British interior minister Sajid Javid said recently there was an increase in migrants crossing the English Channel from France. Last week he declared the situation a “major incident”.

More than 200 migrants attempted to cross one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in December with nearly half stopped from leaving France, Javid said.

The number is a fraction of those regularly attempting to reach European Union territory by crossing the Mediterranean from north Africa and Turkey. Many are fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

Attempts to cross to Britain attracted extensive domestic scrutiny amid a highly charged political atmosphere less than three months before Britain is due to leave the EU in the aftermath of a referendum in which immigration was a major theme.

Britain is deploying extra patrol boats to deal with the situation, the interior minister said earlier this week.

Javid has written to British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson requesting aerial surveillance, dozens of sailors and a military patrol vessel for help, the Telegraph newspaper reported.