Fishermen working illegally in UK waters

HMC Valiant
HMC Valiant

Four fishermen admitted illegal working in UK waters at Ayr Sheriff Court.

They were part of a group of 15 fishermen who were identified as working illegally during a Border Force operation targeting vessels operating off the north west coast of Scotland.

The men, from the Philippines, Ghana and India, were on boats boarded by Border Force officers from HMC Valiant during an intelligence-led operation targeting suspected abuse, illegal working and modern slavery offences on fishing vessels earlier this month. Ten vessels were boarded. All fifteen were detained after checks revealed they did not have visas to work in the UK. Three vessels were seized. Following further investigations, four of the group were charged with illegal working. All four pled guilty and were admonished at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday 15th November.

All 15 men are now in immigration detention pending removal from the UK. A spokesman for Border Force said: “Our message is clear, where our officers find fishing crew working illegally in British waters, they will be arrested and removed from the country.”