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Investigations continue after 21 Albanian stowaways found aboard Great Yarmouth-bound cargo ship

PUBLISHED: 07:47 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 07:47 26 September 2019

Stowaways have been found on The Rotra Mare which has now docked in Great Yarmouth harbour after travelling from Spain. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Stowaways have been found on The Rotra Mare which has now docked in Great Yarmouth harbour after travelling from Spain. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Investigations are today continuing after 21 stowaway migrants claiming to be from Albania were taken from a cargo ship in Great Yarmouth.

The Rotra Mare, which was transporting wind turbines from Spain was intercepted on its way to these shores when crew members discovered the suspected illegal immigrants, who may have boarded in Bilbao.

The vessel was detained five miles off the coast of Great Yarmouth, with 19 men and two children removed from it as part of a multi-agency operation.

In a statement, Border Force said its officers were working alongside the Coastguard, the Great Yarouth Port Harbour Master, Norfolk Constabulary and the vessel's agent to resolve the situation.

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A Border Force spokesman added: "They [the stowaways] have all presented themselves as Albanian nationals and will be dealt with in line with the immigration rules."

It is understood the vessel had originally been due to arrive in Yarmouth at midday on Monday, but was delayed, and the discovery of the stowaways is thought to have been made in the early hours of Tuesday, September 24.

Chief inspector Lou Provart of Norfolk Constabulary said the officers dealing with the incident have "done brilliantly" addressing it.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "Have been to see the team looking after these arrivals whilst being processed by colleagues from UKBA (UK Border Agency)

"A challenge to deal with such numbers but they have done brilliantly."

More to follow.

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