Black Sunday for Nigerians in London
?As immigration officials launch raid on illegal immigrants
From ADEWALE SANYAOLU,London with agency reports
Monday, November 15, 2010
It was a black Sunday for Nigerian and Ghanaian illegal migrants yesterday in London as immigration officers stormed into Haley?s in Regent Street and detained contract cleaners from Nigeria, Ghana and Brazil.
The dawn raid, which left four alleged illegal migrants arrested on Britain?s most famous toy shop caught the illegal migrants unaware. The immigration team, which searched all seven floors and rounded up 14 suspects in the teddy bear department, as the Met?s Territorial Support Group guarded the store?s exits.
One suspect, a 17-year-old from Brazil, was found in a locked storeroom cowering under shelves packed with toys. The raid comes as the stores gears up for the pre-Christmas rush. The cleaning staffs are all believed to work for Crystal Cleaning Services, based in Essex. None is employed directly by Haley?s and there is no suggestion that the retailer has done anything wrong.
Surrounded by stuffed bears and Christmas gifts, officers used mobile fingerprint scanners to determine whether the suspects had the right to be in Britain. At the end, four were arrested and could be deported within the next couple of days, while some were led away in handcuffs. Illegal immigrants are often forced to work for sub-standard wages and are frequently victims of trafficking. Tony Moore, a team leader at the UK Border Agency, said ? we are really pleased with the results today. More operations are planned in central London in the coming weeks.
Illegal working has a serious impact, taking jobs from those allowed to work. These employers often bypass health and safety and the minimum wage.? A Hamleys spokesman said: ?We are more than happy to help the UK Border Agency.? Employers found guilty of using illegal migrants face a fine of up to? Illegal working has a serious impact, taking jobs from those allowed to work.
These employers often bypass health and safety and the minimum wage.? A Hamleys spokesman said: ?We are more than happy to help the UK Border Agency.? Employers found guilty of using illegal migrants face a fine of up to ?10,000 for each one. Crystal Cleaning said it had followed guidance from the Home Office?s ?Prevention of Illegal Working,? booklet.