The National Crime Agency (NCA) has begun an investigation after the discovery of eight illegal migrants on a yacht.
The vessel, a 46 foot motor cruiser, was intercepted by the Border Force cutter ‘Seeker’ and a coastguard helicopter on 6th November.
The boat was escorted into Portsmouth where it was met by the police and Border Force officials.
Eight Albanian nationals were found on board and their cases will now be dealt with in line with UK immigration rules by Immigration Enforcement.
The vessel’s skipper, a 64-year-old British national, has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to facilitate a breach of immigration laws and is now being questioned by NCA investigators.
Image credit: National Crime Agency
The boat is being forensically examined at Portsmouth naval base.
NCA operations manager Martin Matthews said:
“The NCA works closely with our law enforcement partners to protect our borders, and targeting and disrupting criminal groups involved in people smuggling is one of our highest priorities.
“This particular incident is now the subject of a criminal investigation, and I’m grateful for the assistance of Border Force, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Ministry of Defence in that.”
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