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Southall properties raided in crackdown on suspected illegal immigrants and dodgy landlords

It was part of a national operation which saw a total of 200 arrests - with eight coming from three raids in Southall

Video footage showing Home Office officials raiding a property in Southall as part of an operation targeting illegal migrants living in squalid accommodation and their unscrupulous landlords has been published.

It shows officers swooping at an address in Caxton Road, in one of three raids in Southall which saw eight people arrested.

The immigration enforcement-led operation saw 200 people arrested as part of Operation Magnify - an ongoing cross-government, intelligence-led campaign to stamp out illegal working in high-risk sectors.

During the operation, which took place between January 1 and June 30 this year, officers targeted 253 houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs), arrested 200 people for suspected immigration offences and handed out financial penalties to 24 landlords.

Many of those arrested were Indian nationals, but there were also people from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Albania.

Of the three raids in Southall, five Indian men aged between 37 and 48, and a 34-year- old Indian woman were arrested at two addresses in Caxton Road.

The woman and two men, both aged 40, were found to have overstayed their visas, while the rest of the men had entered the UK illegally. Efforts are ongoing to remove them all from the country.

The landlord was issued with a right to rent Civil Penalty Referral Notice.

Immigration officers raided properties in Southall as part of a national immigration enforcement-led operation which saw a total of 200 arrests(Image: UGC TMS)

 

Another two Indian men were found at an address in nearby Wentworth Road. A 31-year-old was found to have overstayed his visa and has voluntarily left the country, and a 56-year-old man was found to have entered the UK illegally. Again, efforts are ongoing to remove him from the country.

It is not the first time immigration officers have made arrests in the Southall area, with a pick-up point for ilegal worked targeted in 2014, and arrests for immigration offences made in 2016.

Previous enforcement operations have demonstrated that immigration offenders found in HMOs are often working illegally.

These premises are often in poor condition, subject to overcrowding, lack basic facilities or represent dangerous accommodation where the landlord has shown no concern for the wellbeing or safety of their tenants.

Cases are reported to the local housing department or fire service for follow-up action.

Those arrested are offered support if they chose to leave the country voluntarily, but if they refuse, removal action is taken against them.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “These operations show that we will not tolerate people living and working illegally in the UK.

Illegal working cheats the taxpayer, has a negative impact on the wages of lawful workers and allows rogue employers to undercut legitimate businesses.

“Those who come to the UK to live and work illegally often arrive with a very different expectation to the situation that they then face.

“The reality is very different and they will often find themselves at the mercy of exploitative employers or landlords.

“Those unscrupulous landlords flout the rules by knowingly renting property to illegal migrants as an easy source of profit.

“We are committed to tackling abuse and building an immigration system which works in the best interests of the country.”

Operation Magnify is an ongoing initiative supported by other government agencies including HM Revenue and Customs, the Health and Safety Executive and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, enabling a more effective combined enforcement approach against exploitative employers who provide low-paid jobs to illegal migrants.

 

 

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