The Times reports that police and immigration officers have arrested Loloahi Tapui, the Tongan housekeeper who was sacked by Baroness Scotland last week after it was revealed she was working illegally for the Attorney General in her London home.
The 27-year-old was reported to be on the run since details of her illegal status in the UK were disclosed last Wednesday.
Immigration officials raided the flat she shared with her husband in Turnham Green on Saturday but found nobody there.
Yesterday a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police revealed that both Ms Tapui and her husband, the solicitor Alexander Zivancevic, were arrested yesterday by Scotland Yard officers in Chiswick, west London.
She was questioned over alleged immigration offences and released on bail until October.
The spokesman said:
“A man aged 40 and a woman aged 27 were arrested by police at an address in Chiswick on September 23 for immigration offences. The man has been bailed to return to a date in late October, the woman to a date in mid-October.”
A UK Border Agency spokesman said:
“We can confirm that a woman and a man were arrested and questioned by UK Border Agency officers on September 23 for immigration offences in relation to an ongoing investigation.”
Gordon Brown has been criticised for his support of Baroness Scotland of Asthal, his most senior law officer, when it emerged that she had not only employed an illegal immigrant but had failed to keep photocopies of Ms Tapui’s immigration documents to prove she had checked her visa status.
The UK Border Agency fined Lady Scotland £5,000, the architect of the very rules she broke, but Mr Brown insisted that it was not a sacking offence as she had committed only a “technical breach” of the law.
Lady Scotland did not help her case by trivialising her offence by claiming that it was no worse than being fined £60 for failing to pay the congestion charge when driving into central London.
Mr Brown’s decision that she should remain in the country’s top legal post prompted discontent among Cabinet colleagues and provoked Stephen Hesford, a parliamentary aide to the law officers, to resign his post in protest.
The Tories and Liberal Democrats expressed outrage and called for the Attorney General to resign, pointing out that Lady Scotland had personally helped to pilot through parliament the immigration law that puts the onus on employers not to employ anyone without a visa.
Source: The Times
Immigration Matters Comment
The news will outrage employers who live in fear of making a mistake or failing to understand the numerous types of visas when employing migrant workers, students or foreign nationals on dependant visas.
Employers face fines of up to £10,000 per illegal employee, as well as the damaging publicity from being named and shamed on the UK Border Agency’s website, for failing to follow the rules which the Attorney General helped design and get onto the statute books.
If the country’s top legal adviser cannot spot an illegal worker, what chance have they got?
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