Arrests made after ‘large-scale’ operation by immigration officers at Northamptonshire truck stop

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Eight people were arrested after immigration officers questioned workers at a Northamptonshire truck stop.

Acting on information, Immigration Enforcement officers visited the Red Lion Truck Stop, off the A4500 Weedon Road near junction 16 of the M1, at about 4pm on Tuesday April 26.

Officers questioned staff to check if they had the right to live and work in the UK.

The Immigration Enforcement team said eight immigration offenders were arrested, including three Indian men (two aged 47 and 26 who had overstayed their student visas and one who had obtained leave to remain by deception aged 28); an Indian woman aged 32 who had overstayed her work visa; a Pakistani man and a Chinese man aged 26 and 45 who had overstayed their visit visas, and a further Chinese man and a Chinese woman aged 45 and 46 who had entered the UK illegally.

All eight were detained pending removal from the UK.

The Immigration Enforcement team said the Red Lion Truck Stop will be served a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker could be imposed. The business will be liable to pay this penalty unless they can demonstrate that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out. This is a potential total of up to £140,000 for seven workers who were included on the notice.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Employers who choose to use illegal labour should be aware that our Immigration Enforcement teams carry out regular visits like this across the region.

“This was a large-scale operation leading to a high number of arrests with support from Northamptonshire Police whose assistance contributed to a successful outcome.

“Illegal working cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. By simply carrying out the required ‘right to work’ checks, employers can avoid disruption and a heavy financial penalty.

“We rely on information from members of the public and I would urge people to report suspected illegal working to us.”

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can report it at www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.