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It's estimated that people trafficking in the West Midlands has dropped by 60 percent, according to the Minister for Immigration Phil Woolas who's been to the hub of UK border control based in Solihull today (Wednesday 17th February)
Child prostitution, people trafficking and passport fraud were among the criminal investigations that Phil Woolas, Border and Immigration Minister, was briefed on today when he visited the UK Border Agency's West Midlands Immigration Crime Team.
Mr Woolas visited Solihull to meet the joint UK Border Agency and police team. The unit works closely with other Government departments and local councils. Officers tackle crimes including people trafficking, drug and firearm offences linked to foreign nationals, bogus marriages and bogus colleges. They also seek to remove foreign offenders found guilty of serious offences once they have served their sentences.
Cases Mr Woolas was briefed on included that of Sorin Sardaru, a Romanian national sentenced in October 2009 to seven years in prison, the maximum term possible, for trafficking and controlled child prostitution. Sardaru had trafficked a 15-year-old girl from Romania and set her to work in a Birmingham massage parlour.
Mr Woolas was also updated on an ongoing sham marriage operation and briefed on the case of Clerriky Boreland, a Jamaican national suspected of drug dealing who was successfully prosecuted for ID offences and deported.
During the visit, Mr Woolas met operational officers and had a briefing from the heads of the team about their work.
Phil Woolas said: "I'm in the West Midlands today to see the excellent work that the joint UK Border Agency and police team are doing to tackle serious and organised immigration crime across the region.
Our Immigration Crime Teams are creating a hostile environment for criminals involved in this sort of activity — be they British or foreign nationals — and are sending a message that there is no place to hide; we will catch you.”