Thirty-eight Indian citizens who had overstayed their visa periods were detained in one of the largest operations by immigration and police officials in Leicester in the east Midlands, which has a large minority of Indian origin.
They were found working illegally in two clothing factories in the city, and now face removal to India. The 38 Indians include 29 men and nine women; the companies that employed them also face fines up to 20,000 pounds for each illegal worker, reports from Leicester said.
Alison Spowage of East Midlands Immigration Enforcement said: “Using illegal labour is not victimless. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest businesses and denies legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities”.
“The penalties for businesses that do not play by the rules are rightly severe. This operation, one of the largest-scale my team has conducted, sends a clear message that we have the resources to tackle immigration abuse”.
Seven of those detained last week had entered the United Kingdom illegally, while others had overstayed their visa period; an Afghan national was also detained in the operation, ‘Leicester Mercury’, a leading local daily, reported.
Many foreign nationals without the right to work in the UK have been detained in recent years following a crackdown by immigration and police officials. Several employers hiring them have been fined thousands of pounds.
Employers are obliged to check the immigration status before recruiting under rules put in place when Prime Minister Theresa May was the Home secretary.