American comedian Joan Rivers joked as she was questioned by a squad of UK Border Agency officers in balaclavas, who suspected she could be an illegal immigrant.
The squad of four guards raided the American star’s boat, who was taking a weekend fishing trip as a break from filming her latest reality show.
The UK Border Agency officials swooped on the start after been tipped-off about a group of people on two fishing trawlers on the Swale Estuary in Kent, a well-known area for smuggling in illegal immigrants.
Rivers, who has a wicked sense of humour, saw the funny side of the incident:
‘Even though we were innocent I am so sorry they didn’t arrest us. I love Englishmen and they were very cute.’
The 79-year-old was visiting her fellow American friend, the Countess Sones, at her 6,900 acre Lees Court Estate in Faversham, Kent.
The officers questioned Sondes, Rivers and her daughter Melissa who were filming ‘Joan and Melissa, Joan Knows Best!’ for US television.
After the discussion the Border Agency allowed Rivers to go back to work.
Lady Sondes told the Daily Mail: ‘Given the Lees Court Estate’s close involvement with the Swale, it was a great comfort to know that the Border Agency acted in a pro-active, efficient and friendly manner.’
‘They were very professional and did a fantastic job – it’s great to know people like that are protecting our shores.’
The UK Border Agency yesterday confirmed the incident on October 20, but denied they were acting on a tip off.
A spokeswoman said officers spotted the vessel while on routine patrol.
She said: ‘Our officers will investigate any potential immigration or customs offences and take swift and robust action to ensure our borders remain secure.
‘On October 20, 2012, whilst on routine patrol, Her Majesty’s Cutter Vigilant approached a fishing vessel in the Swale Estuary, Kent.
‘Border Force officers spoke with the captain of the vessel to establish ownership and number of passengers.
‘After a short discussion, Border Force officers were satisfied the passengers and crew did not present a risk to the border.
‘The search of any vessel in UK territorial seas and internal waters plays an important role in protecting the border.
‘Presently there is no means of establishing, with any certainty, where a vessel has come from until Border Force officers have spoken to the captain, crew and in some cases boarded the vessel.
‘In the vast majority of instances, officers will take no more than a few minutes to satisfy themselves as to whether a vessel presents a risk to the border.’
The UK Border Agency did not say whether or not the officers checked to see if U.S. Citizen Rivers had permission to work in the UK.
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