Eight Israeli illegal workers have been removed from the UK after they were caught selling hair and beauty products to Christmas shoppers at Cribbs Causeway.
We will not turn a blind eye to foreign nationals working in the UK without permission. Jane Farleigh, Wales and the South West Regional Director, UK Border Agency
Acting on intelligence, officers from the UK Border Agency went to two stalls in The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, simultaneously at 1130 on Tuesday, 15 December.
At a stall selling Dead Sea beauty products, a woman and three men were arrested for suspected immigration offences while a further four Israeli nationals – three women and a man – were arrested at the Amica hair styling stall.
The eight, all aged in their 20s, were taken to Trinity Road, Southmead and Staple Hill police stations for further interviews to be carried out.
It was later confirmed that all eight were in the UK on visitor visas which did not give them the right to work.
They were kept in detention before being removed to Israel on Wednesday.
The Mall co-operated fully with the UK Border Agency’s investigations and will not face any penalty.
Jane Farleigh, UK Border Agency Regional Director for Wales and the South West, said:
‘We will not turn a blind eye to foreign nationals working in the UK without permission.
‘Illegal working undercuts honest employers and takes jobs from those genuinely entitled to work.
‘If people want to work in the UK there are ways they can come here legitimately, such as applying through our points-based system for migration.’
The operation was part of an ongoing crackdown on illegal working and coincides with a large-scale UK Border Agency advertising campaign warning employers of the sanctions they face if they employ illegal foreign labour.
The Agency’s team based in Portishead carries out an average of 45 operations per month and has removed more than 250 immigration offenders from the UK since April this year.
The Government is currently making a series of reforms to the UK’s immigration system.
Identity cards for foreign nationals are being introduced which will help protect against identity fraud and illegal working.
The Australian-style points based system for managing migration is ensuring only those with the skills the UK needs are allowed to work.
A tough new civil penalty system was brought in last year to provide a fast and effective way of tackling employers who fail to carry out proper checks on workers from outside Europe.
A fine of up to Ã‚Â£10,000 per worker can be imposed for every illegal worker found at a business