Lankans arrested in major illegal immigration crackdown in UK

Monday, 11 October 2010 22:54 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In one of the largest enforcement operations ever undertaken, the UK Border Agency and police officers undertook a series of raids on 21 locations in Sussex, Surrey and Kent at the end of September.

These raids followed an eight month investigation by the UK Border Agency’s South East Immigration Crime Team into a gang suspected of facilitating illegal working by immigrants for an employment agency in Crawley, Surrey.

Five people, including two Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested for various immigration offences including facilitating breach of UK immigration laws and money laundering. A further 25 people, understood to be mainly Sri Lankan nationals, were also arrested for immigration offences at a number of locations in Sussex and Surrey. The UK Border Agency will seek to remove those found to be working in the UK illegally.

Damian Green, Minister for Immigration, said: “This was part of a nationwide UK Border Agency campaign to tackle illegal working and organised immigration crime.”

“Working with the Police and other law enforcement partners we are determined to tackle the organised criminals who prey on vulnerable immigrants, and take action against those who break the law. Today’s operation is an example of that.”

Andy Cummins, who heads up the South East Immigration Crime Team, said: “We believe that we have disrupted a significant international organised criminal network, which aimed to assist people to enter and stay in the UK illegally. Today’s operation is the result of an extensive investigation involving both the UK Border Agency and the police South East Organised Crime Directorate. That investigation continues.”