'Illegal' workers caught in Border Agency Welsh raids

UK Border Agency officers
Image caption Officers swooped on four food businesses across Wales

Thirteen immigrants suspected of working illegally have been seized in a series of raids across Wales by the UK Border Agency.

The raids took place on Wednesday at businesses in Cardiff, Rhyl, Brynamman and Ystradgynlais.

The four firms have been issued with a penalty notice for employing illegal workers.

Jane Farleigh of the UK Border Agency in Wales warned immigration offenders that more raids were planned.

After a raid at Seagull International Foods in Rhyl, Denbighshire, immigration checks revealed two men from Pakistan, aged 28 and 33, were working illegally, said the agency.

Two Bangladeshi men, aged 27 and 30, who claimed to be customers, were also found to be in the country illegally.

Three of the men were arrested and remain in detention while steps are taken to deport them.

The 33-year-old from Pakistan was placed on immigration bail and must report weekly to a police station while the agency arranges his removal from the UK.

A 34-year-old Malaysian man was seized in the raid on accommodation attached to Central House Cantonese takeaway, Ystradgynlais, Powys.

The man, who had stayed in the country illegally after his visa expired, was placed on immigration bail while arrangements are made to deport him.

In Cardiff, immigration officers raiding Mowgli's Indian restaurant found four employees from Bangladesh had no legal right to work in the UK.

A 27-year-old man is in immigration detention pending deportation. Three men aged 24, 28 and 30 have been placed on immigration bail and must report weekly to a police station while the agency arranges their removal from the UK.

In the fourth raid on Wok U Like in Brynamman, Carmarthenshire, two Chinese men, aged 26 and 30, were arrested and remain in detention ahead of their removal from the UK.

Two Chinese men, aged 24 and 35, were placed on immigration bail.

Ms Farleigh, regional director for the UK Border Agency in Wales, said: "Through successful operations like this we are sending a simple message to immigration offenders living and working across Wales - more raids are planned and you will be caught.

"Illegal working undercuts businesses that stay within the law and exploits foreign workers.

"As long as there are opportunities for illegal jobs the UK will be an attractive place for illegal migrants - that is why we are putting a stop to employers who do not play by the rules."


The agency said if the businesses could not prove that the correct right-to-work checks - such as asking for a passport or work permit - had been carried out on those found working, a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal employee would be imposed.

UK immigration minister Damian Green said: "Illegal immigration puts huge pressure on the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it.

"Together with the police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency we will continue to make life as difficult as possible for those who cheat the immigration system."

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