19 Indians arrested in UK for working illegally

H S Rao

London, Feb 21 (PTI) Nineteen Indians, including awoman, have been arrested for working illegally in the UKduring a raid on a cloth manufacturing factory in Leicester.

Acting on intelligence, UK Border Agency officersvisited the factory called House of Creation on Wednesday andchecked the immigration status of staff.

Officers discovered that nineteen of the staff membersdid not have permission to work in the UK.

They were all Indian nationals � eighteen men and onewoman � who had either entered the UK illegally or wereworking in breach of their visas, officials said.

Fourteen illegal workers were arrested and detainedand five were temporarily released on immigration bail.

The authorities are now taking steps to send them backto India as soon as possible.

The business was issued with an on-the-spot penaltynotice for employing illegal workers and now faces a fine of10,000 pounds per illegal worker, unless it can prove that itcarried out the correct right-to-work checks on the employees.

"Illegal working adversely affects local communitiesand denies job opportunities to local people," a UK BorderAgency spokesperson said.

Employers are expected to carry out basic checks onidentity documents before recruiting new staff.

House of Creation is now facing a potential fine of190,000 pounds and needs to prove that these checks were made.

"We will continue to work with those employers whowish to comply with the law whilst targeting those employerswho think that the law does not apply to them." PTI HSR

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