Workers arrested for breaching UK visas

22 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A number of workers have been arrested in Fleetwood for breaching their UK visa conditions.

UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials conducted raids on a number of retail outlets in the town this week (June 21st) and discovered five people working illegally.

At Premier Newsagents on Bold Street, a 26-year-old Sri Lankan woman was arrested for working illegally and a 27-year-old Indian man was arrested for working in breach of his student UK visa.

Further arrests were conducted at small businesses around the town as the UK immigration officials discovered a further three individuals, also from Sri Lanka and India, who were all working in breach of their UK visa conditions.

Eddy Montgomery, operations director for the North West at the UKBA, commented: "This is the latest in a series of operations we've carried out to tackle immigration crime in Lancashire, and more are planned.

"Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work. Businesses which operate outside the law should be warned that they will be found and they will be punished."

The new follows the arrest of six illegal workers at a bakery in Dunstable following similar raids by UK immigration officers.

Supported by the local police and the Gangmaster Licensing Authority, officers executed a warrant at Honeytop Speciality Foods on the Woodside Industrial Estate.

They discovered five men and one woman from India, Pakistan, Iran and Ghana, all of whom have now been taken into detention by the UKBA.

All of the businesses concerned now face substantial fines for employing illegal workers. They can avoid these costs by ensuring that the correct UK immigration checks are conducted at the time of employment.

Simon Excell, deputy director for the Midlands and East at the UKBA, commented: "With potential fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker, those businesses with large numbers of offenders on the pay-roll are clearly facing the prospect of a substantial hit."