Brothels raided in immigration crackdown

TWO BROTHELS in Colchester have been closed and workers arrested in a crackdown by the UK Border Agency.

Three “immigration offenders” were arrested at two brothels in George Williams Way and East Hill.

The raids were part of nationwide action by the UK Border Agency to tackle illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime and took place after complaints from people living nearby.

Two women – a 49-year-old Malaysian and a 35-year-old from Thailand – were arrested at the first address. Both had overstayed their visas.

And a 46-year-old woman from China was arrested at the second address for working in breach of a visitor’s visa.

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All three women are in UK Border Agency detention while arrangements are made to remove them from the country.

The arrests on Tuesday were made under the banner of “Operation Meerkat” which looks to find immigration solutions to issues where criminal prosecution is either not possible or not in the public interest.

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Detective Constable Adam Rogers, seconded to the UK Border Agency’s immigration team from Essex Police, said: “We understand the negative impact premises like those raided can have on the communities around them and are committed to using all available powers to shut them down.

“These arrests were made in direct response to local concerns and we thank residents for contacting us.”

Chief Immigration Officer Dave Butler, from the Suffolk and North-East Essex Local Immigration Team, said: “We expect foreign nationals to play by the rules. If they don’t, and as this case demonstrates, we will take decisive action.”

Anyone with information about suspected abuse of the immigration system can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit

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