13 Aug Suspected migrants travel to the UK on a Broads holiday cruiser
A Broads boat business has been caught up in the migrant crisis after three men were found hiding inside a holiday cruiser being transported back across the Channel.
The £290,000 vessel was on a lorry travelling from a boat show in Auxerre, in central France, to Reading where its new owner lived.
It is believed the men – two Pakistanis aged 26 and 29 and a 30-year-old Iranian – climbed aboard the vehicle at St Malo port in France and hid inside the six-berth vessel.
They were caught by police trying to flee the craft once it arrived in Reading, before being detained on suspicion of immigration offences. They are currently at an immigration detention centre.
Managing director of Broom Boats, Mark Garner, 49, said: “The boat went into a secure compartment at the port and was checked by border control. It was empty and somewhere between that point and the ferry crossing, those people boarded the boat and got inside.”
It comes as tensions between the British and French governments continue to rise over the pressure to deal with the thousands of people trying to get to the UK.
Around £2,000 worth of damage was caused to the 35ft Norfolk-made boat. It has since been repaired and cleaned by the Broads firm and was due to arrive back with its owner last night.
Mr Garner said the incident was “incredibly disappointing” as the company regularly trades in Europe and may be put off doing future business in France because of the border control issues.
He said: “It was a huge disruption for us and a sensitive matter for the customer. This has really concerned us. The lack of disciplined border controls, as well as the situation here with Europe, is making trade very precarious, particularly in France, and it needs to be dealt with or controlled.”
this news story was provided by Great yarmouth Mercury