Watch: Police raid Birmingham businesses for illegal workers, money laundering & more

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West Midlands Police arrested 15 crime suspects in dawn raids with Immigration Enforcement and Trading Standards across Birmingham

Police arrested 15 crime suspects as they carried out 14 warrants at 13 businesses and one home in Birmingham yesterday morning (Wednesday, January 31).

Working with partner agencies including Immigration Enforcement and Birmingham City Council’s Trading Standards, officers carried out warrants where a number of items were seized including illegal tobacco and vapes.

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A man and a woman, both aged 40, were arrested at an address in Glenpark Road in Saltley on suspicion of money laundering and another man was arrested in Alum Rock on suspicion of assault from an incident earlier this year. Two vehicles were also seized from the residential address.

Following the warrants at the business addresses, 11 people were arrested for a range of immigration offences including illegal working, of which six individuals were detained pending their removal from the UK. Six of the commercial businesses employing illegal workers have been served with civil penalty fines worth a total of £120,000.

Police carry out dawn raids in BirminghamPolice carry out dawn raids in Birmingham
Police carry out dawn raids in Birmingham

Following the operation, Inspector Jonathan Beach from the Hodge Hill constituency, said: "We have listened to concerns from the community regarding anti-social behaviour around 24-hour shops and have worked with partner agencies to take enforcement action today. Local neighbourhood teams will continue to patrol the area to engage and reassure the community.

"We would also like to encourage anyone within the community to come forward with any concerns regarding criminal activity in the area, and we remind them that they can report it anonymously through Crimestoppers."

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Car seized by police in dawn raids in BirminghamCar seized by police in dawn raids in Birmingham
Car seized by police in dawn raids in Birmingham

Immigration Enforcement HM Inspector Richard Corrigan said: "Illegal working not only encourages illegal migration but also causes untold harm to our communities, cheating honest workers out of employment, putting vulnerable people at risk, and defrauding the public purse.

“Last year, illegal working visits increased by more than 68% compared to the previous year and arrests have more than doubled. We will continue to work with partners including law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal migration in all its forms.”

Tony Quigley, Head of Trading Standards at Birmingham City Council, said: “Today’s joint operation with immigration and police officers has enabled us to search retail premises, where we have found 1000’s of illicit vapes, as well as counterfeit tobacco products estimated to worth more than £100,000. This is just one example of how partnership working between the council, government and police can produce strong results.”

A WMP spokesperson added: “The operation followed investigation by our officers, ROCU (Regional Organised Crime Unit), and partner agencies, where we have been responding to anti-social behaviour within the community. Operation Target sees us taking a defiant stand against a range of serious and organised crime offences – from drug dealing and burglary to cyber crime and fraud.”