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Immigration Raid On Car Wash Located At Sainbury’s Store In Burpham

Published on: 25 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 27 Oct, 2013

Police and immigration officers swooped on the car wash at Sainsbury’s Burpham store yesterday evening (October 24), arresting several suspects.

Nine arrests were made

Eight arrests were made during an Immigration Enforcement operation in the car park at Sainsbury’s Burpham store on Thursday, October 24.

Guildford Dragon NEWS reporter, Dani Maimone, was on the scene and said: “I was standing outside the store’s main entrance talking on my mobile phone when I suddenly noticed a number of police officers running across the car park.

“It took a few seconds to work out what was going on. At first I thought they were just after one man who I saw leap over something and rip off his high-visibility jacket. A young female officer chased after him in hot pursuit but lost him, but it soon became apparent that other officers were waiting hidden nearby. He was eventually grabbed by one of her colleagues.

“Then all hell let loose and car wash attendants were running in all directions, pursued closely by police officers. I walked towards a parked van marked ‘Immigration Enforcement’ in large lettering. Two more vans were parked at the top of the car park.

“I asked a police officer what was going on but he simply referred me to the press office. He wasn’t keen to say anything.

“I had overheard some of those arrested talking in Swahili, an East Africa language. Knowing a little of it, having lived in Kenya, I said to some of them ‘jambo’ and ‘habari?’ (hello and how are you?). Some said that they were from Uganda.”

Immigration Enforcement vehicle at the Sainsbury's store in Burpham.

Immigration Enforcement vehicle at the Sainsbury’s store in Burpham. Pictures by Dani Maimone.

This morning (October 25) a Home Office spokesperson confirmed that an Immigration Enforcement operation had taken place yesterday at the car wash that operates in the car park of the Sainsbury’s store in Clay Lane, Burpham. Eight suspects were arrested including seven Ugandans one of whom was female.

The spokesperson continued: “Acting on intelligence, and with assistance from Surrey Police, officers visited Hands on Car Wash, at the Sainsbury’s car park in Burpham, at about 5.35pm yesterday (Thursday 24 October). Individuals were questioned to check if they had the right to be in the UK.”

Three men, aged between 32 and 37, and a 37-year-old woman were found to have overstayed their visas; two men, aged 31 and 33, were working in breach of their visa conditions and a 31-year-old had entered the country illegally. A 45-year-old man was also found to be an immigration offender.

All those found were arrested and transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country apart from the men aged 32 and 33 who were placed on immigration bail while their cases are progressed. They too will face removal from the country if found to have no leave to remain. The 45-year-old is still being questioned by immigration officers.

The business was served a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a potential total fine of £80,000.

On Thursday, October 10 the Government published the Immigration Bill, which carries a number of proposals to clamp down on illegal working and rogue employers. These include potentially doubling the maximum penalty for those using illegal labour to £20,000 and making it easier to enforce unpaid debts in the civil courts.

The Government is also planning to simplify the right to work checks to make it easier for compliant employers to fulfil their responsibilities.

Immigration minister Mark Harper said: “Illegal working encourages illegal immigration, undercuts legitimate businesses and is often associated with exploitation.

“The existing illegal working regime isn’t simple enough; the penalties have remained the same since 2008 and don’t provide a sufficient deterrent; it is also too easy for companies to evade paying them.

“New legislation will increase the penalties for rogue businesses, make it easier to enforce payment, while also making it easier for legitimate businesses to verify individuals’ right to work.”

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Responses to Immigration Raid On Car Wash Located At Sainbury’s Store In Burpham

  1. Christian Holliday Reply

    October 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I am pleased to see the Home Office taking the necessary action against those suspected of abusing the terms of their visas. Illegal labour suppresses employment opportunities for many people who are legitimately seeking work.

    Christian Holliday is the Conservative borough councillor for Burpham

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