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Illegal worker found hidden beneath shop floorboards
Immigration officers had to crawl on their hands and knees to detain an illegal worker who they found hiding under floorbaords at a Bradford fashion shop.
The illegal immigrant crammed himself into a narrow space between the floorboards and foundations of the building in a bid to evade capture after UK Border Agency officers raided the premises.
But they got their man after determinedly squeezing into the narrow underfloor space.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited Janan Clothing, in Shearbridge Road, Bradford, following allegations that a security guard was working there illegally.
After trying for an hour to enter the building, officers covering back exits noticed a light being turned off, confirming suspicions somebody was hiding inside.
The owner was contacted who let the team into the building.
Further investigations revealed the man they had come to arrest – a 24-year-old Pakistani – was hiding between floorboards and the foundations of the building. He remained there despite verbal commands to come out in both English and Urdu.
Eventually two Immigration Officers entered the void space, which was around five feet wide and two and a half feet high, and crawled for nearly two minutes until they found the man hiding next to a wall.
After establishing he was not armed they led him out of the void before arresting him. He had overstayed his visa and was placed in immigration detention while the UK Border Agency progresses his case.
The business was served a notice warning a penalty of up to £10,000 would be imposed unless proof was provided to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.
Ian Milner, from the UK Border Agency, said: “This was an unusual operation and shows the lengths to which some people will go to try to avoid detection by our officers.
“But thanks to the patience and determination of the two officers who entered the void, we were able to arrest this individual.
“Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.
“We carry out regular operations such as this across the region. We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy financial penalties.”
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.
The raid was carried out at around 9.30pm last Sunday.
The Telegraph & Argus was unable to contact anyone at Janan Clothing yesterday