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Suspected illegal immigrants held.

THIRTY-SEVEN suspected illegal immigrants have been arrested for picking cockles from a beach.

The Chinese people were arrested Morecambe, Lancashire, after they were allegedly involved in illegal cockle-picking on the sands at Morecambe Bay.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said three vehicles containing the 37 suspected illegal immigrants were stopped on Monday at 4.30pm.

The matter was now being passed on to the Immigration Service, she added. The cockle-pickers were being held at police stations in the area.

After the closure of fisheries in Wales, the Solway and Scotland, where cockles were found to be contaminated, Morecambe has been targeted by fishermen hunting for the shellfish.

It was claimed that 200 tonnes of cockles were removed in one day, although experts say that this is an exaggeration and a more realistic figure is 25 tonnes.

Locals said the public should be allowed to pick cockles, but those doing it for a business should be regulated and licensed.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 6, 2003
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