Immigration officers have arrested nineteen people in operations across the UK, targeting suspected immigration fraud.
The arrests on 21st January 2014 were supported by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA). They are part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the Khalsa Missionary Society in Cheetham Road, Manchester which appears to be just a sign above a shop that sends money abroad with a solicitors office next door.
The investigation is focused on the sponsoring of Indian nationals to work at the society as Ministers of Religion, under Tiers 2 and 5 of the points-based system for migrant workers.
Officers visited fifteen addresses in Slough, Southall, Southampton, Luton, Hounslow, Birmingham and Leicester shortly after 07:00.
Ten were arrested on suspicion of obtaining leave by deception, contrary to Section 24 of the 1971 Immigration Act. They are now being questioned at police stations across the UK, and all the addresses visited are being searched.
A further nine people encountered during the raids were arrested for immigration offences, including overstaying their visas. The nine are unconnected to the criminal investigation and steps will now be taken to remove them from the UK.
Three separate cash seizures were also made and are now subject to investigation.
Those arrested are:
four women, aged 22, 26, 27 and 44 at addresses in Slough;
a 46 year-old man and a 26 year-old woman at addresses in Southall;
a 28 year-old woman at an address in Hounslow;
a 42 year-old man at an address in Leicester;
a 25 year-old woman at an address in Luton; and
a 30 year-old womt an address in Southampton.
These arrests bring the total number of people arrested in connection with the criminal investigation to twenty-two.
Fleetwood Aluminium caught with 12 illegal workers.
Immigration officers visited Fleetwood Aluminium, Bath Road, Slough, at about 14:00 on 22nd January 2014. Individuals were questioned to check if they had the right to be in the UK.
Officers arrested twelve Indian men aged between 25 and 51 years. All were working illegally and had either entered the country without leave to do so or had overstayed their visas. On Fleetwood’s website they boast employing over 120 staff, no mention that 10% are illegal workers though.
Nine of the men remain in immigration detention pending removal from the country, leaving three to seek illegal work somewhere else.
A further house search revealed a 30-year-old Indian man who had entered the country without leave to do so. He was placed on immigration bail so he probably packed a bag and scarpered.