TEN people have been arrested in a series of immigration enforcement raids on Croydon shops. Home Office immigration enforcement officers made the arrests from five shops, in London Road and Portland Place, last Thursday (May 9). At Savemore Foods in London Road, they arrested a 57-year-old Sri Lankan man "who was a failed asylum seeker" and a 56-year-old Pakistani man who "had entered the country illegally," a Home Office spokesman said. At Croydon Halal Meat and Grocery in London Road, they arrested a 21-year-old Afghan man, not an employee, who was "found to be a failed asylum seeker," the spokesman added. At Perfect Halal Meat in London Road, they arrested a 23-year-old Afghan man "who had entered the country illegally." At CFC Butchers in London Road, they arrested a 45-year-old Pakistani man "who had overstayed his visa," an Iraqi, 25, and an Afghan, 23, "who had both "entered the country illegally."" At Chicken Palace in Portland Place, South Norwood, they arrested three Pakistani men, aged 23, 25 and 33, "for overstaying their visas." The spokesman added the shops – apart from Croydon Halal Meat and Grocery – have been warned they will be fined up to £10,000 per worker without legal immigration status, unless they can prove they carried out appropriate checks. Jill Smith, Head of the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team in South London, said: "Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work. "While we are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines."
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