A dawn raid at Scanwell Freight Services in Hounslow on Monday 8th March resulted in officers from the UK Border Agency arresting 14 people. Eight male employees were arrested on a number of immigration charges. The firm, based in Amberley Way, can now expect to be fined up to £90,000 for employing these eight men, and possibly a ninth member of staff although further investigations need to be carried out to see if the necessary checks were actually made.

The other 6 people were arrested following subsequent searches at addresses in Southall and Hayes. Of those arrested, an Indian woman, five Indian men and a man from South Africa are currently being detained pending deportation. The UK Border Agency is seeking travel documentation for the other seven who are currently on bail.

Speaking of this operation, The head of the Hounslow Local Immigration Team, Ben Kelso, commented that this was part of an ongoing clampdown by the UK Border Agency, saying: “Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work. We are happy to work with businesses to ensure they know what checks have to be done on staff, but those who do break the law will face action.”

Any business who is found to be employing workers illegally can face charges of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. Further information about which checks to carry out before offering employment can be found at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk or by calling 0300 123 4699.

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