Immigration officers will question a migrant who paddled to Britain in a kayak over claims he raped a British aid worker in the Calais “Jungle” camp.
The attack, which is said to be common knowledge among aid workers, reportedly took place eight months ago but was covered up because the alleged victim fears news of the incident could “stigmatise” migrants.
However when news that the man — who was picked up by border control eight miles from the UK coast — had reached Britain, an aid worker alerted the authorities over the alleged assault.
The volunteer says the rape was “effectively covered up” by fellow aid workers as they were worried it would undermine their advocacy for the migrants, who squatted in Calais attempting to break into Britain.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the volunteer said: “It became clear from discussions the woman hadn’t reported it because of concern it would undermine all the great work that had been done to help refugees.
“But rape is rape and I was deeply uncomfortable with that.”
Detectives in the UK were alerted when the Iranian, who claims to be a software engineer and is in his thirties, arrived in the UK on October 29.
Police said last night that information on the man has been “shared with the relevant authorities” but that there was “insufficient information to proceed with an investigation”.
Sources at the Home Office confirmed that the migrant will be questioned about the rape, but stressed the attack would be just one of many factors being considered while examining his asylum claim.
The man is reported to have said he was persecuted in his homeland for converting to Christianity, a tactic figures in the Church of England have warned is often used by migrants to exploit immigration rule loopholes, as it “can significantly enhance” their prospects of being granted asylum.
Currently the Iranian migrant is living in a “segregated” shelter for asylum seekers, from which he is free to come and go.
Thought to be the first successful attempt at making the 20 mile crossing in a kayak, the man was spotted off the Kent coast by a ferry. Around halfway in his journey across the English Channel he was picked up by the UK Border Force and delivered to immigration officials.
It was revealed that the same cutter that picked the Iranian up had the day before come across an abandoned jet ski off the coast of Dover. It is thought that tens of thousands of migrants illegally enter Britain each year via the Channel, with critics arguing the coastline is completely unprotected.
The alleged victim has reportedly told friends she still has no wish to come forward. The rape is said to have occurred amid increasing tension at the so-called “Jungle”, which was demolished and cleared in October.
Last month an Afghan interpreter working for a TV crew was raped at knife point by three migrants in the camp, and during the clearance of the sprawling slum, five Middle Eastern men gang raped an Ethiopian woman.
Calais residents say rape, violence and murder were rife in the “jungle”, and in February police confirmed sex attacks in the camp were so brutal that several young boys required surgery as a result of the abuse they had endured at the hands of other migrants.