A weeklong crackdown on illegal delivery drivers resulted in up to 60 arrests.

After a week-long crackdown on illegal delivery drivers working for major firms, it has resulted in 60 arrests across London and the south of England

Following an increase in immigration offences by ‘gig workers’ in the region, Home Office immigration teams have stepped up their actions to tackle illegals working and this week arrested drivers working for delivery companies such as Deliveroo, JustEat and UberEats.

The arrests were for offences such as illegally working and possession of false documentation, but the operation also led to the seizure of weapons and cash suspected of being linked to criminal activity.

Weapons are frequently found with illegal immigrants, it’s something that is rarely reported on via the media.

Immigration Enforcement stated that they carried out intelligence-gathering exercises ahead of the operation, to identify hotspots for illegal moped delivery drivers. Alongside relevant police forces, the Home Office deployed officers on 6 consecutive days (16th to the 21st of April), to make the arrests and detentions.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:

“Illegal working damages our communities, cheats honest workers out of employment and defrauds the public purse. As the Prime Minister has set out, we are committed to going further and faster to prevent the abuse of our laws and borders.

The British public deserves a labour market that is fair and honest and must have confidence that goods and services they buy are from legitimate businesses.”

Of those arrested, 44 were detained by the Home Office, pending their removal from the UK, with the remaining 16 being released on immigration bail. It is also expected that a number of the arrests will result in ‘voluntary’ departure from the UK.

The majority of offenders were of Brazilian nationality, so would have most likely been overstaying on their Visas. Indian and Algerian nationals were also found to be working without the right to do so in the UK.

Following thorough searches of properties linked to the arrests, firearms and other weapons were found, while over £4,500 in cash was seized under the ‘Proceeds of Crime Act’.

All employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal working. Employers can be jailed for up to 5 years and could pay an unlimited fine if they are found guilty of employing someone they knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK.

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