City nail bars targeted in clampdown on illegal workers

Immigration Enforcement van. Picture; John Devlin

Immigration Enforcement van. Picture; John Devlin

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Nearly 100 people working in nail bars have been held by police on suspicion of immigration offences as part of a clampdown on illegal working.

More than 280 nail bars in Edinburgh, London and Cardiff were targeted as part of the UK government’s Operation Magnify.

Most of the 97 people held were Vietnamese immigrants, but they also included nationals from Pakistan, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Mongolia and China.

Immigration officers visited the nail bars – including those in the Capital – between November 27 and December 3.

Throughout 2016, Operation Magnify has also targeted the construction, social care, 
cleaning, catering, taxi and car wash industries.

Immigration officials also warned 68 businesses that they will pay £20,000 per illegal worker if they fail to prove they carried out appropriate right-to-work document checks.

Immigration minister Robert Goodwill said: “Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our 
society”

14 of those arrested were passed to the National Referral Mechanism hub, a service supporting those identified as possible victims of slavery and trafficking.

289 modern slavery offences were prosecuted in 2015.