The UK Border Agency arrested five people last week as part of a major investigation into a gang suspected of supplying illegal workers to UK employers.
In one of the biggest operations of its kind undertaken by the agency, approximately 150 immigration officers and police officers took part in early-morning raids on 15 locations in Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
The raids followed an 8-month investigation by the south east immigration crime team into the supply of illegal workers.
The workers were being provided for an employment agency based in Crawley.
An 61-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of facilitating a breach of the immigration laws and money-laundering offences at 2 addresses in Crawley.
Another woman, aged 44, was also arrested on suspicion of facilitating a breach of immigration laws and money laundering at Clacket Lane service station on the M25.
Two men, both from Sri Lanka, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating a breach of immigration laws at separate addresses in Crawley.
All 5 are now being questioned at police stations in Sussex, say the boreder agency.
IT equipment and documents were seized from a number of locations, and will now be examined. A substantial quantity of cash was also recovered.
Around 25 people, believed to be mainly Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested for immigration offences at a number of locations in Sussex and Surrey. They are also being questioned, and the Home Office will seek to remove those found to be working here illegally.
Andy Cummins, head of the 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’s south east organised crime directorate. That investigation continues.’
The agency said that anyone with information about immigration crime should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the the Crimestoppers website. Anonymity can be assured. Source: UK Border Agency.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: