Three held in raids on 'illegal workers' gang

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The Independent Online

A series of raids took place today by investigators looking to smash a lucrative organised criminal gang suspected of supplying illegal workers.

Up to 150 UK Border Agency (UKBA) and police officers were involved in synchronised raids at around 20 locations in Sussex, Surrey and Kent from around 8.30am.

It followed an eight-month inquiry by the UKBA's south east immigration crime team into the suspected supply of illegal labour for an employment agency based in Crawley, West Sussex.

It is believed to be one of the biggest operations of its kind undertaken by the agency involving officers from Sussex, Surrey and Kent police forces.

A 48-year-old man and two women - one aged 61 and the other aged 54 - were arrested at addresses in Crawley and at Clacket Lane service station on the M25.

The trio were all held on suspicion of assisting illegal immigration and money-laundering offences, a spokesman for the UKBA said.

A further two people, both Sri Lankans, were arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal immigration.

Documents, computers and a quantity of cash were also seized as part of the investigation.