Monday, June 17, 2024

Over 100 foreign nationals arrested for working illegally in UK

In a major crackdown on illegal immigration, enforcement officers in the UK arrested 105 foreign nationals from over 20 countries who were found working illegally in the country.

The nationwide operation by the Home Office on Friday saw over 300 immigration officers on 159 enforcement visits in a day at commercial premises including restaurants, car washes, nail bars, barber shops and convenience stores.

The suspects were arrested for offences including illegal working and possession of false documentation, with sums of cash seized at some locations, the UK Home Office said.

Of those arrested, over 40 were detained by the Home Office, pending their removal from the UK, with the remaining suspects being released on immigration bail.

It is also expected that a number of the arrests will result in voluntary departure from the UK.

Offenders of over 20 different nationalities were found to be working without the right to do so in the UK.

“Illegal working harms our communities, cheats honest workers out of employment and defrauds the public purse as no taxes are paid. As the Prime Minister has set out, we are committed to tackling the abuse of our laws and borders,” Home Secretary Suella Braverman said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also attended an early morning visit in Brent, North London, to observe Immigration Enforcement officers at work as part of the day of action.

“We know the prospect of black-market employment is a significant attraction for migrants considering making dangerous and illegal journeys to the UK. Operations such as today send a clear message that we will not stand for this,” Braverman said.

The operation builds on the ongoing work by Immigration Enforcement officers to clamp down on illegal working which is a key part of the government’s approach to stopping the boats.

This work tackles illegal migration by breaking the business model of criminal gangs who use the offer of black market jobs as one way to draw people to the UK illegally.

In the first quarter of 2023, Immigration Enforcement teams delivered 1,303 enforcement visits — a 57 per cent increase on the same period last year — and since the Prime Minister set out his plan to stop the boats in December 2022, arrests have now doubled since the same period last year, a Home Office statement said.

Director of Enforcement, Compliance and Crime, Eddy Montgomery said it is vital to not only identify individuals in breach of immigration law but target the people smuggling networks behind this type of criminal activity.

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