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Canterbury: Home Office arrests five immigrants at Raj's 59

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Five immigrants living in Canterbury on student visas have been arrested following a raid by enforcement officers.

Officials quizzed staff at gift shop Raj’s 59 after visiting the store in St George's Street.

Employees were quizzed about their right to live and work in the UK, with five men aged between 24 and 34 arrested.

Raj's 59 in St George's Street, where the men were arrested for immigration offences.
Raj's 59 in St George's Street, where the men were arrested for immigration offences.

Three are from India, one from Pakistan and the other from Nepal.

All five had overstayed their student visas.

Three of those arrested remain in immigration detention pending their removal from the UK.

Two of the Indian nationals have been granted immigration bail and must now report regularly to the Home Office while their cases are progressed.

Raj’s 59 will now be served with a notice warning that it faces a £20,000 fine for each illegal worker if it cannot prove it carried out appropriate document checks.

Typically, an employer would need to see a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.

Assistant director Richard Lederle, head of the Kent and Sussex Immigration Enforcement team, said: “We are working hard to tackle illegal working and those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.

“Using illegal labour is not victimless crime. It undercuts honest taxpayers, depriving vital public services like schools and hospitals of funds.

“It undercuts honest businesses and it cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.”

The arrests on Saturday come just weeks after Canterbury MP Julian Brazier called for non EU-students to return home after finishing their studies in the city.

The Tory backbencher raised the issue in Parliament after statistics revealed two-thirds of students flout immigration rules by staying on in the UK after completing their courses.

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