Almost 100 people have been arrested following immigration raids on nail bars across the country.
Immigration officers were looking for people without UK visas and those at risk of modern slavery during the week-long operation which resulted in 97 arrests and 68 businesses now facing stiff fines. It also found 14 people who are potential people trafficking victims.
Most of those arrested were from Vietnam, but people from Pakistan, India, Nigeria, China, Ghana and Mongolia were also held following the raids.
The Government said those who were in the UK illegally would be deported but those believed to be at risk of modern slavery would be given support.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said the operation had sent a “strong message to those employers who ruthlessly seek to exploit vulnerable people and wilfully abuse our immigration laws.
“Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society”.
The week-long operation took place between the end of November to the start of December and focused on almost 300 nail bars around the country. It follows similar raids on business this year in the construction industry, care, cleaning, catering, car wash and taxi sectors. The authorities say they will targeting similar industries again next year to seek out people who are working in the UK without a valid visa and businesses that are employing them, or using people as modern day slaves.
Prime Minister Theresa May is continuing the policy she started as Home Secretary to reduce the number of illegal immigrants working in the UK, as well as reduce the net migration figure of overseas nationals who are living and working legally in Britain.