Fifteen arrested after raids
Fifteen people have been arrested for immigration offences after three days of raids by officers at the UK Border Agency.
Officers swooped on two residential addresses and four businesses in Wimbledon, Tooting and Balham last week.
Five Pakistani males aged between 24 and 43, and a 50-year-old Sri Lankan were arrested at a residential property in Mitcham Road, Tooting, on Wednesday, June 6.
Three of the Pakistani men had over stayed their visas while the rest had entered the country illegally.
A further two Indian men, both 28, were arrested at an address in Upper Tooting Road after overstaying their visas.
On Thursday (June 7) two Pakistani men aged 21 and 28 and two Mexican women, aged 25, were arrested at the Flame restaurant on Wimbledon Broadway – all had overstayed their visas.
A 42-year-old Sri Lankan male who had entered the country illegally was also arrested at K&K Stationers on Mitcham Road, Tooting.
On Friday a 50-year-old Sri Lankan male who had overstayed his visa was arrested at Payless Food and Wine on Balham High Road.
Finally a 36-year-old Pakistani male who had overstayed his visa was arrested after officers entered Lick’n Chick’n on Mitcham Road, Tooting.
Nine of the 15 arrested are in immigration detention while the UK Border Agency takes steps to remove them from the country and the remaining six have been placed on immigration bail.
All businesses were warned they could be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker arrested unless they can prove to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.
Jill Smith, head of the UK Border Agency’s Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton Local Immigration Team, said: "We carry out hundreds of operations like this every year across 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. "
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org