Illegal workers pick the wrong job

TWO Nigerians working illegally had the rug pulled from under them when they turned up for a carpet cleaning job - at the agency which roots out unlawful workers.

Richard Cornwell

TWO Nigerians working illegally had the rug pulled from under them when they turned up for a carpet cleaning job - at the agency which roots out unlawful workers.

The men arrived at the Felixstowe offices of the UK Border Agency but never got the chance to do any cleaning.

Suspicions were aroused because neither had any identification documents.


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Checks revealed one man, aged 41, was an illegal entrant to the UK while the other, aged 31, had arrived on a tourist visa, which had since expired, and they were both arrested by Border Agency staff.

Both now face removal from the UK and are being held at Ipswich police station while travel documents are secured for their return to Nigeria.

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Checks on a third man who also arrived with no identification with the pair on Wednesday morning showed he was living and working in the UK legally.

He stayed to clean the carpets.

Neil Hunt, assistant director of the UK Border Agency in the midlands and the east, said: “We are committed to cracking down on anyone living and working in the UK unlawfully.

“On this occasion these two have made our job very easy.

“They have had a very bad day at the office.”

The pair's employers, Comprehensive Cleaning based in Deptford, now face a fine of up to �20,000 unless they can prove that they carried out the correct right-to-work checks - such as asking for a passport or work permit - before giving the men jobs.

“Illegal working is unfair on honest employers who recruit staff with the right to work in the UK and who pay them a proper salary,” said Mr Hunt.

“We are happy to work with companies to help them make sure the right checks are carried out before they employ migrant workers, but those who flout the law face large fines.”

The arrests come at a time of massive reform to the UK's immigration system.

ID Cards for foreign nationals are being introduced which will help protect against identity fraud and illegal working.

Anyone who suspects illegal workers are being employed at a business in Suffolk can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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