On an average more than five immigration offenders a week were removed from the UK after they were found living or working illegally in Devon and Cornwall in 2011.
In the first nine months of 2011, up to 30 September, 199 offenders were removed from the UK.
The offenders were detained during illegal working raids, visits to residential properties or during other immigration operations carried out by the agency’s Plymouth-based local immigration team.
Jane Farleigh, regional director for the UK Border Agency in Wales and the South West, said: ‘The number of successful operations, offenders removed and penalties issued to employers shows we are cracking down in Devon and Cornwall.
‘We are out every week targeting illegal workers and other immigration offenders.
‘There is a simple message for people flouting the law – more raids are planned and you will be caught.
‘We carry out raids at businesses, home addresses and take part in joint operations with the police so offenders in Devon and Cornwall should be clear that they have no place to hide.’
The Home Office said: `During the same period, the agency also fined businesses in Devon and Cornwall £434,250 for employing illegal workers – although some of this total relates to raids carried out prior to 2011.
The UK Border Agency officers targeted three Cornish businesses on 19 March, finding eight illegal workers.
At Oriental Touch, Tywardreath Highway, St Blazey, two Chinese men and a Chinese woman were arrested. At East Meets West, Carlyon Bay, St Austell, two Chinese men were arrested and at Indian Dining Club, Station Approach, Newquay, three Bangladeshi men were found working illegally.
The agency caught seven illegal workers in raids on a care home, shop and restaurant in Torbay on 7 April. At Renaissance Care Home, St Marychurch Road, Torquay, two women and a man from the Philippines were found working illegally. At Oriental Touch, on the same street, a Chinese woman was caught working in breach of her student visa and at 99p Store, Victoria Street, Paignton, 3 men – 2 from Pakistan and 1 from India – were also working in breach of their student visas.
A raid on a flat in Walcot Close, Plymouth, on 12 April saw six Indian immigration offenders arrested. The men were found sleeping in blankets and sleeping bags on the floor of the two bedroom flat. They were in the country on student visas but enquiries revealed that none of their courses was based in the south west of England. The men later confirmed they were working illegally in the Plymouth area.
On 24 May, two shop workers were removed to Pakistan shortly after being arrested for illegal working at Costcutter, on Fore Street.
After a raid at Frank Clarke and Sons, Homeleigh Farm, Kentisbeare, Cullompton, eight men – seven from India and one from Brazil – were arrested on 14 July for working illegally. The men were found in seven caravans on site.
On 30 September, three men were removed to Bangladesh, days after they were caught working illegally at Balti King, New Road. The three were in the UK on student visas but were working instead of attending their courses.
A Bangladeshi man who had overstayed his visa was arrested in a raid on a residential address in Coldharbour, Bideford on 20 September. On the same day, another Bangladeshi man was found working illegally at Bengal Tiger, in Cooks Cross, South Molton.