UKBA arrests ten Pakistani, Indian illegal workers in Northern Ireland

India News Bulletin Desk

In an immigration offence crackdown operation, UK border control authorities have arrested ten illegal workers of Indian and Pakistani origin in Northern Ireland earlier this week.

UKBA officials making arrests after questioning illegal immigrants
UKBA officials making arrests after questioning illegal immigrants
Image: Flickr (ukhomeoffice)

The illegal workers – including seven Pakistani men and three Indian men – were working in small mobile phone accessories kiosks at shopping centres in different locations in Northern Ireland.

Of the seven Pakistani illegal workers, aged 24 to 31, four had overstayed their visas, two were working in breach of their visas and one had entered the country illegally.

As for the three Indian illegal workers -- aged 22, 27 and 29 – all had overstayed their visas.  

UKBA officials targeted mobile phone carts and questioned the staff to check they had the right to stay and work in the UK.

The arrests were made on Tuesday, September 24, after the border control officials visited 19 different sites across Northern Ireland.

All the ten Asian men arrested are currently in detention while steps are being taken to remove them from the country.

“Foreign nationals who are found working illegally in this country should be in no doubt they will be caught, arrested and removed from the UK,” said Mike Golden from the UK Home Office.

“We are determined to crack down on immigration offenders. Anyone found living or working here illegally is liable to be detained and removed,” Golden added.

“Every year we impose civil penalties on hundreds of companies which fail to carry out legally-required checks on their staff. We provide support to employers so they can understand the rules, including visits by staff, a dedicated telephone helpline and website,” Golden added.

Currently, employers in the UK have to pay £10,000 per illegal worker, as fine if they are not able to prove that appropriate checks were carried out before offering employment.

But in July this year, the government proposed to double the penalty to £20,000 for businesses employing illegal migrant labourers.

The proposal to toughen civil penalties against “rogue businesses” employing illegal migrants is part of the government's plans to make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live and work in the UK. The proposal is part of the new Immigration Bill that will come to effect later this year.

More immigration arrests in Brighton, Kent

Earlier this month, UKBA officials arrested two Bangladeshi nationals and one Indian (21-year-old) in Kent for working in breach of their visa conditions. The employer, a restaurant named Masala Reef on Hove Street in Sheerness could face a potential fine of up to £30,000 for employing the three illegal workers.

Separately, three businesses in Brighton -- Nisa Local Convenience Store, Al Amin Exotic Foods and Taj Mahal Supermarket – could face fines for employing Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani illegal workers. All three Asian men have been placed in immigration detention pending removal from the country.

“The message to employers in Sussex who choose to use illegal labour is clear. We will catch you and you will face a heavy penalty,” said Ceri Williams, from the Kent and Sussex Home Office Immigration Enforcement team. 

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