Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Migrants hide in motor boat

THREE suspected illegal immigrants made their way to Wargrave by hiding in a £250,000 motor boat.

THREE suspected illegal immigrants made their way to Wargrave by hiding in a £250,000 motor boat.

Two Pakistani men, aged 26 and 29, and a 30-year-old Iranian man were found stowed in the second-hand Broom 35 Coupe, which was being delivered to Val Wyatt Marine in Willow Lane.

The 35ft cruiser had been brought from France by ferry and it is believed the men got inside while it was in the ferry hold. It was then driven from Portsmouth to Wargrave by lorry.

When the driver stopped at the top of Station Road on Saturday morning, the men jumped out and ran off.

David Bushnell, who works at Bushnells Marina in Wargrave, said he was alerted by the lorry driver as his escort driver chased after them.

Mr Bushnell said: ?The three men had jumped out and ran away so the driver called the police. A police car turned up and about an hour later and there was a helicopter as well.?

Drugs debris, including needles, was found inside the boat, which had been ordered by Ian Tritton, from Peppard, from boatmakers Broom in Norfolk.

As part of the deal it had been appearing in boat shows in France and Holland before being delivered. It was due to be dropped off at Bushnells Marina in Thameside and then driven downstream to Val Wyatt.

Mr Tritton said he felt ?violated?, adding: ?It is distressing and annoying that UK Border Control allowed this to happen.?

He and his wife Mia went to see the boat at the marina at 9.30am on Saturday by which time the men had already escaped.

Mr Tritton said: ?We went to Bushnells to see the boat arrive and we noticed that the rear doors were open.

?When we asked why we were told it was to let the police and dogs on board and that?s when it all came out.

?The police had just left so we got the boat in the water. When we got on board we could clearly see the men had gained access through the cabin hatch.

?There were marks all over the carpet and mattress and they had also tried to use the toilet. The police had already removed something which we believe was needles.

?I felt very annoyed that something like this should happen. Our private space has been violated.?

Mr Tritton, a member of Henley Lions Club, called for action to stop such incidents happening.

He said: ?Given the situation in Calais, these guys have obviously been spreading around ports in France looking for a way to get across.

?It?s a very sad situation for them and we feel for them but in this case we are annoyed at the various people involved, like the boat?s transporters and Border Control. They need to be much tougher.

?This problem also needs to be addressed at source.?

The boat has been taken back by Broom to be cleaned and repaired.

Mr Tritton said: ?Broom insisted they take it back to the workshop in Norfolk and we didn?t want to argue with that. At the end of the day we want a pristine boat.

?We won?t get it back until some time next week but it?s important to us to feel that honour has been restored.?

The suspects, who were described as ?dishevelled?, were arrested in Mumbery Hill, Wargrave.

The Home Office said they would be deported if it was found they had entered the country illegally.

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