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Employers: Ten arrested in south London immigration raids

14 May 2013

Ten immigration offenders have been arrested following a crackdown on illegal working in Croydon and South Norwood.

Acting on intelligence, ourimmigration enforcement officers visited three shops on London Road, Croydon, on Thursday 9 May 2013. Individuals were questioned to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

At Savemore Foods (also known as Savemore World of Frozen Food), which was visited at about 11:25 they arrested a 57-year-old Sri Lankan man who was a failed asylum seeker and a 56-year-old Pakistani man who had ente... red the country illegally. Both men tried to escape but were caught by enforcement officers.

The team then entered Croydon Halal Meat & Grocery at 12:35 and arrested a 21-year-old Afghan man. He was not an employee but found to be a failed asylum seeker.

A 23-year-old Afghan man who had entered the country illegally was arrested at the final location, Perfect Halal Meat, which was entered at 16:20pm. He also tried to escape but was caught.

Later that day officers visited CFC Butchers on London Road and Chicken Palace on Portland Place, South Norwood. At CFC they arrested three Pakistani men aged 23, 25 and 33 for overstaying their visas.

Three men were arrested at Chicken Palace. They included a 45-year-old Pakistani who had overstayed his visa, and an Iraqi, aged 25, and Afghan, aged 23, who had both entered the country illegally.

Steps are now being taken to remove all those arrested from the country.

All the businesses (apart from Croydon Halal Meat & Grocery) were served notices warning the employers that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

Jill Smith, head, immigration enforcement team, south London, said:

'These arrests show that we will not hesitate to take action against people who are in the UK illegally. The message is clear. We will find you and you will be removed from the country.

'Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

'While we are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.

'I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.'

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

For more information and contact details for our immigration enforcement teams in the London and South visit:

Anyone with information about immigration offenders can report crime on this website, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.