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Anti-terror police arrest two men trying to leave Dover

Two men have been arrested at Dover Eastern Docks in relation to terrorism offences.

The man, aged 22 and 20, were stopped by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit as they tried to leave the country.

They have been arrested under Section 5 Terrorism Act 2006, preparation of terrorism acts but the authorities have stressed that the arrests are not connected to events in Paris.

I would firstly like to confirm these arrests are not linked to the Paris terrorist incidents and there is no immediate threat to the local community.

These men were trying to leave the UK via Dover and were arrested following good work by Kent police officers at the Port.

– Det Supt Ian Hunter, Head of Investigations, SECTU


Have you seen David Birks? Abscondee drug smuggler sentenced to 20 years in jail is on the run

Man conspired to bring £1.8m of drugs through the Port of Dover on a lorry

A heroin smuggler who went on the run, has today been given a 20-year jail sentence - even though he wasn't in court - and hasn't been found. David Birks went on the run having been given bail after his first court appearance.

Now the National Crime Agency, the British equivalent of the FBI, is appealing for information about the whereabouts of the 42-year-old, who organised a cross-channel drugs run that would have netted nearly two million pounds. John Ryall was at Canterbury Crown Court.

He's on the run but £1.8m drug smuggler gets 20 years

David Birks jailed for 20 years after attempting to smuggle £1.8m of drugs

A drug smuggler who conspired to bring £1.8m worth of heroin through the Port of Dover has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

David Birks aged 42 from Rotherham was sentenced in absentia. He went on the run and failed to attend the trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

“David Birks played a key role in an attempt to smuggle class A drugs worth almost £2 million into the UK. There is no doubt that those drugs would have ended up on our streets.

“He then compounded this by failing to turn up for his trial. A warrant has been issued for his arrest and I’d appeal for anyone who has information about his whereabouts to get in contact with us, either directly or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

“We are determined that he should be brought to justice – this is not going to blow over for him, he is not going to fall off our radar. Sooner or later he will have to serve his sentence.”

– Nick Tuffs, National Crime Agency

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.

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