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Op stack warning as passport checks change

Lorries use the M20 as a lorry park when Operation Stack's in force Credit: Press Association

The system that turns the M20 into a lorry park could come into force more often when a new way of checking passports begins next month.

That's the warning from the Freight Transport Association. It says Operation Stack will need to be used on the motorway because of the time needed to check documents at Folkestone and Dover.

From the 8th of April, anyone leaving the UK will have to have their passports checked by hand.

  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Port of Dover future decided

Plans for a massive development of the Port of Dover can go ahead after the Shipping Minister arrived in the town to lay out his plan for the Port's future today.

He said he wanted to put the people of Dover at the heart of decision making - and allow the board to raise the money needed for its ambitious development plans.

Sarah Saunders spoke to Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond, Chairman of Dover Harbour Board, UNITE steward Michael Doel and Dover MP Charlie Elphicke.


Regeneration for Port by working with the community

Shipping and Ports Minister Stephen Hammond has set out plans for the future of the Port of Dover.

The plans will enable the community and port to work together, boosting commercial development and potentially regenerating the port.

Stephen Hammond said:

Dover is a thriving port with a proud history and today I have set out changes to the port’s constitution and financial powers that will help it grow in the future, and put the community at the heart of decision-making at the port.

I believe these steps are what is needed to secure a shared and enduring future for the port. I now urge the town and the port to work together to deliver its full potential.

– Stephen Hammond, Shipping and Transport Minister

Two men charged after "substantial" amount of Cocaine is found in bags

A general view of the Port of Dover Credit: ITV News

Cocaine - potentially worth millions of pounds - has been seized at one of Britain's main gateways, in Kent, in a lorry carrying a cargo of plastics.

Around 138lb (63kg) of the Class A drug were found in bags in the cab of a Swiss-registered vehicle at the Port of Dover.

Border Force officials said that once cut and sold on the streets, the potential value of the drug could have run into millions of pounds.

Two Italian men, lorry driver Santo Virgadaula and passenger Giambattista Rovillo, both 53, have been charged following Monday's seizure.

They were both remanded in custody when they appeared at Folkestone Magistrates' Court and will appear at Canterbury Crown Court on February 3.

The case has been passed to the National Crime Agency for further investigation.

Paul Morgan, director of Border Force South East and Europe, described it as a "significant seizure".

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Tanker drivers in custody after stowaways found inside tanker on ferry at Dover

Two tanker drivers are in police custody in Kent after an emergency at the Port of Dover in which 15 asylum seekers were heard knocking - in apparent distress, from the inside of a tanker on a cross-channel ferry.

Some of the fifteen people were treated by paramedics at the scene. Two were taken to hospital. They were all were tested for exposure to hazardous substances.

The incident was a chilling reminder of the tragedy at Dover 13 years ago, when 58 asylum seekers were found suffocated in the back of a sealed lorry. David Johns reports.


Lorry driver jailed for smuggling cannabis into Dover

Cannabis resin was discovered in a lorry counterweight Credit: Border Force

A lorry driver has been jailed for three years for trying to smuggle £300,000 worth of cannabis resin into the country through Dover.

Seamus Keenan, 48, from Newry in County Down was stopped at Dover's Eastern Docks in January 2011.

When his vehicle was examined Border Force officers discovered 107 kilos of cannabis resin hidden inside a counterweight. He was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday 20 May 2013.

Seamus Keenan was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court Credit: Border Force

Top port job was 'a challenge'

Bob Goldfield is standing down after 11 years Credit: ITV Meridian

Mr Goldfield said in a statement announcing his departure from the role of chief executive:"For the past 11 years, I have had the honour to be the Chief Executive of the UK’s premier port and certainly one of the World’s busiest ports.

"Those 11 years have been, in turn, exciting, demanding and challenging.”

The Port’s Chief Operating Officer, Tim Waggott, will be appointed as Acting CEO on June 1. Mr Goldfield will carry out other duties for the harbour board in advance of his September departure.

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