London/Leicester, Nov 20: At least 20 Indian citizens have been arrested for immigration-related offences during raids conducted by Britain's border officials in the last week in London and the east Midlands town of Leicester, which has a large minority of Indian origin.
Official sources Tuesday said 12 Indians were among 15 arrested during a raid on a textile company in Leicester. Checks revealed that they had overstayed their visas or had been refused asylum.
The company that employed the arrested individuals now faces a fine of 10,000 pounds per illegal worker, the UK Border Agency said.
Of the 15 arrested, ten were detained pending removal from the UK while the remaining five were released on immigration bail while the UKBA takes action to remove them from the country.
Raids on several houses in parts of London led to arrests of Indian and other foreign nationals who had mainly overstayed their visas. Two Indian men aged 26 and 36 were arrested in Northgate when checks revealed that they had submitted false documents with their previous visa applications.
In Bewmush, an Indian woman aged 28 was arrested for overstaying her visa, UKBA said.
A 57-year-old Indian who had overstayed his visa was found in Langley Green, but he voluntarily left the country on Nov 12.
During raids in Romford and Canary Wharf, four Indian men aged between 21 and 50 were arrested. They were found working illegally in a food manufacturing company.
Three of them—aged 22, 40 and 50 -- had over-stayed visas while a 21-year-old was found to have entered the country illegally.
Steve Fisher of the UK Border Agency said: “We regularly carry out operations like this in London, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them. Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.”
He added: “More visits like this are being planned for London and whilst we're happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.”