College faciliating illegal immigration

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Law & Disorder

IlieFive people were arrested in Gateshead and Newcastle yesterday morning in a series of co-ordinated raids targeting a college suspected of being used for immigration crime.

The arrests follow an extensive investigation carried out by the UK Border Agency North East immigration crime team into Castle College, Park Road, Felling, Gateshead.

The UK Border Agency has now suspended the college’s licence to enrol overseas students. Officers from the agency were on site this morning to advise and assist any genuine students arriving for their studies.

Four of those arrested are senior staff at the college, and were held on suspicion of using the college to facilitate immigration offences. The other person arrested was a student at the college who was found to have breached the terms of her visa.

The morning’s raids targeted residential addresses in Saltwell Road, Gateshead, and Moorside Court, Newcastle, as well as the college itself. Those arrested on suspicion of facilitating immigration offences are a 37-year-old Pakistani woman, a 41-year-old Pakistani man, a 37-year-old Pakistani man and a 33-year-old Bangladeshi man. All are now being interviewed at police stations in Newcastle. A substantial amount of cash was also seized from a safe at the college.

A simultaneous operation at an address in Ellesmere Road, Newcastle, uncovered the Nigerian student who had overstayed her visa. She was arrested and steps will now be taken to remove her from the country. I just knew a Nigerian would be involved somewhere.

Back to the normal way of getting into the UK

IlieFive foreign nationals were prevented from illegally entering the country after they were caught hiding in a lorry load of fresh fruit heading for Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The stowaways were discovered in Coquelles, France by UK Border Agency officers as they checked vehicles bound for Folkestone.

Five Iranian males ,including three under the age of 18, (so they say) were discovered hiding among boxes of apples, pears, oranges and kiwi fruit when officers stopped the Slovakian registered lorry at 22:00 on Wednesday 16 February.

The stowaways were removed and handed over to the French authorities to have another go to enter the UK and the lorry was allowed to continue.

By the way

Workers from former Eastern Bloc nations will become eligible to claim hundreds of pounds in jobseeker’s allowance, council tax help and housing benefits.

Migrants will be able to receive the benefits because restrictions on eligibility – introduced through a scheme introduced by the European Union seven years ago – are due to be abolished in May.

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