News: UK/Police raid labour traders

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Subject: News: UK/Police raid labour traders
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Aug 31 1999 - 11:59:17 EDT


Police raid labour traders
By Adam Fresco
The Times (London), August 26, 1999

Special branch dealt a blow yesterday to a profitable trade in human beings
whereby hundreds of illegal immigrants are shipped into Britain for cheap
labour.

In a joint operation with the Immigration Service, officers took part in
dawn raids and arrested 19 people, believed to be from Eastern Europe, who
were working on farms. They also searched addresses in the Southampton area
and arrested a man in connection with the discovery of a "substantial
number" of forged documents.

It is believed that the man, who was released on police bail, could be the
operation's ringleader.

In some cases, police believe, advertisements appear in the home towns of
Eastern Europeans offering work abroad. People are registered with
employment agencies in Britain who supply them with work, but ring leaders
take a huge percentage of their pay. A police source said that some of the
agencies involved were also being investigated.

Officers swooped on Little Abshot Farm, near Fareham, Hampshire, and
arrested seven male illegal immigrants. A further four from the Southampton
area were detained.

In the same operation, codenamed Mansion House, police arrested another
eight people at a farm at Selsey, West Sussex.

The 13 men and six women included Russians, Poles and Lithuanians. Seven
were expected to be deported quickly.

Detective Inspector Tony Harris, who led the raids, said: "These are decent
people who come over here with the intention of earning money to send back
home to their families. Our concern is that they are being exploited."

Melanie Orhant
morhant@igc.org
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