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Border Agency raids across the Midlands

Credit: ITV News Central

Dozens of raids have been carried out across the Midlands today by the UK Border Agency in a crackdown on people-smuggling gangs.

Officers raided address across the region, targeting gangs who bring illegal immigrants into the country in the back of lorries through Channel ports.

Raids were carried out in Peterborough, Birmingham, Coventry, Smethwick, Leamington Spa, Stoke-on-Trent and other areas including London and Hampshire.

More than 150 officers took part in the operation.

It is understood many of the immigrants who pay the gangs are from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Around another 40 raids were carried out at the same time in France and Belgium as part of the same operation.

Two men arrested at City of Coventry Stadium returned to Pakistan

Two people arrested at the City of Coventry Stadium last week have been removed from the UK.

The two men, aged 24 and 21, were arrested during checks on staff applying for accreditation to work at the stadium during the Olympics.

The UK Border Agency found both had overstayed their visas. They were taken into detention and were returned to Pakistan yesterday (25 July).

“These arrests show that our security checks are working. As part of the process for allowing staff to work at the Olympics, we examine immigration and criminal records, and accreditation will be refused to anyone who is not entitled to live or work in the UK.

“The responsibility for ensuring that employees have the right to work in the UK rests with the employer. The UK Border Agency is working closely with employers and contractors at Olympics venues to prevent illegal working.

“Our message to people who are in the UK illegally is that they must leave. As these cases make clear, if they refuse to do so we will enforce their removal.”

– Chief Immigration Officer David Burr, from the Local Immigration Team for the West Midlands

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£350,000 cocaine found in chocolate

A 16-year-old girl and a 39-year-old woman have been arrested after cocaine worth £350,000 was found hidden inside tubs of chocolate at an airport.

The pair, from Walsall, were detained by border force investigators at Gatwick Airport after they arrived on a flight from Antigua on Saturday.

Inside a suitcase was cocaine weighing around 7.7lb (3.5 kilos) which would have a street value of around £350,000 when cut, the UK Border Agency said.

Both were arrested in connection with the discovery and later freed on bail until June 8th.

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