Police carry out raids on West Sussex in illegal immigrants probe

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A STAGGERING 28 beds were discovered in a two-bedroom house as part of an investigation into illegal immigrant workers in West Sussex.

Officers from the UK Border Agency targeted a number of restaurants across the county, including the Fortune Inn at Chichester Gate Leisure Park.

A raid on a property in Grove Road, Chichester, found 28 beds in a two-bedroom house being used by restaurant staff.

As part of the investigation, officers also raided the Fortune Inn and Interwok in Chapel Road, Worthing.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and bailed, along with two Chinese men, who are being detained ahead of deportation.

A total of five people were arrested, but none of the arrests were made in Chichester.

Glenn Taylor, from the UK Border Agency’s south east immigration crime team, said: ‘The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of illegal workers to businesses in Sussex.

‘Where we find people who are in the UK illegally, we will seek to remove them. But we also want to send out a strong message to employers.

‘It is the legal responsibility of all businesses to check their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who don’t could face big fines or, ultimately, prosecution.’

Businesses found employing illegal immigrants can be fined up to £10,000 per worker.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘These raids show we have stepped up action to tackle serious and organised abuse of our immigration system. The message is clear – the UK is no longer an easy touch.

‘This summer we are targeting our efforts on breaking up the gangs behind visa scams; hitting rogue employers who repeatedly break the rules and doing more than ever to stop unwanted people coming to the UK.’