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Employers: Five arrested and £15,000 seized following raids in Croydon

03 June 2013

Our officers have made 5 arrests and seized £15,000 in cash during a series of raids in Croydon.

Acting on intelligence, our officers visited Game On, George Street, Croydon, at 13:00 on Tuesday 28 May, questioning individuals to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

They arrested a 31-year-old Pakistani man who had overstayed his visa. During a later search for a travel document at his home address in Eastney Road, Croydon, our officers found more than £15,000 in cash hidden in suitcases. The money was se... ized under Proceeds of Crime Act powers.

A 25-year-old man also working in the shop initially gave false details. Further questioning by our officers found him to be an Afghan national who had overstayed his visa.

At about 17:10 on Friday 31 May, our officers visited Babylon Inn, North End, Croydon, where they arrested a 24-year-old Chinese man who had overstayed his visa.

They then moved on to Gold Coast & Bar, Portland Road, Woodside, at 19:40. A 24-year-old Kenyan woman who had overstayed her visa and a 34-year-old Ghanaian woman who had entered the country illegally were both arrested.

All those arrested, apart from the Pakistani, have been transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the UK. The Pakistani has been placed on immigration bail while steps are taken to remove him.

The businesses were served notices warning the employers that a fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker found will be issued unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a potential fine of £20,000 for Game On and Gold Coast, and £10,000 for Babylon Inn.

Jill Smith, Immigration Enforcement team in South London, Home Office said:

'These arrests show that we will leave no stone unturned in our search for illegal workers. The message is clear. Those who are in the country illegally will be arrested and removed.

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

'The impressive cash seizure demonstrates our officers' ability to find more than just immigration offenders.

'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 our Preventing illegal working pages, or they can call the agency's employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.

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