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31 December 2010, 05:00
Eleven illegal workers from Vietnam have been caught in a crackdown on nail bars in Suffolk and Essex led by the UK Border Agency.
In total, 21 nail bars have been visited by officers from the UK Border Agency, HM Revenue & Customs, Suffolk and Essex Police since the start of November.
Chief Immigration Officer Dave Butler, from the Local Immigration Team for Suffolk and North East Essex, said: "Like all UK Border Agency enforcement operations, this crackdown was intelligence led - intelligence that is vindicated by the results.
The employers who have been caught employing illegal workers now face the prospect of substantial fines. They will also undoubtedly face the criticism of law-abiding nail bars for casting a shadow over the industry in this area through their illegal actions."
The offending nail bars are:
US Star Nails in Lloyds Avenue in Ipswich, where two visa overstayers were found, a 23-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man.
Nails and Spa in St Matthews Street in Ipswich, where a 27-year-old male illegal entrant was found.
Hollywood Nails in Tacket Street in Ispwich, where a 23-year-old woman who had overstayed her visa was found.
Celebrity Nails in St Johns Street in Bury St Edmunds, where two visa overstayers were found, a 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old man.
Hollywood Nails in St Andrews Street South in Bury St Edmunds, where three illegal entrants were found, two men, one aged 41, and a 20-year-old woman.
Miss Beauty in Long Wire Street in Colchester, where a 19-year-old man was found who had entered the UK illegally.
The operation started on the 5th of November and the last nail bar was visited on Tuesday the 21st of December.
All the nail bars face potential fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker if they cannot prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.
The UK Border Agency is working to remove all the immigration offenders from the UK.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
"This operation is among many being carried out across the country following the success of a major crackdown on immigration crime during the summer, which generated a large number of arrests, cash seizures and prosecutions as well as fresh intelligence.
Illegal immigration puts huge pressure on the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it. Together with the police, HM Revenue & Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency we will continue to make life as difficult as possible for those who cheat the immigration system."
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/advice-for-employers or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be assured or visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime.