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Investigation into detainee death

An investigation has been launched into the death of a detainee at an immigration removal centre (IRC).

The detainee died at Harmondsworth IRC in west London yesterday.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "This death is being investigated so it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.

"We will work with the prisons and probation ombudsman during the investigation."

Harmondsworth IRC, near Heathrow Airport, is a purpose-built, long-term centre which holds up to 615 detainees pending their removal from the UK.

Trafficking probe - third person charged

A third person has now been charged in connection with Operation Amber, the UK Border Agency-led investigation into the alleged trafficking of women.

Zoltan Mohacsi, 35, a Hungarian national of no fixed abode, has been charged with three offences; trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation into the UK, trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation within the UK, and controlling prostitution for gain.

He is expected to appear before Crawley Magistrates with Mate Puskas, 24, a Hungarian national from Croydon and Victoria Brown, also 24, of the same address. Both were charged with the same offences earlier.

The trio were all arrested in Croydon on Tuesday 23 October.


London Metropolitan University students continue protest

Students from London Metropolitan University have staged their latest protest against the decision that could jeopardise their futures.

Five hundred are currently affected by the ban on the university recruiting from outside the European Union, after the UK Border Agency ruled it was not making proper checks on students.

They are now awaiting the outcome of a legal challenge against that ban.

Ronke Phillips reports.

Nineteen visa applicants arrested in Bangladesh

Nineteen London-bound visa applicants have been arrested in Bangladesh following a joint operation involving the UK Border Agency and Bangladeshi Police.

The group were arrested on suspicion of fraud at the British High Commission in Dhaka.

The applicants were suspected of providing forged documentation and false bank statements with their business visitor visa applications to attend the Boishakhi Mela in East London as stall holders.

The UK Border Agency is working hard with our international law enforcement partners to target the organised criminal gangs who attempt to abuse our immigration system. As this case shows, that work often starts thousands of miles away."

– Philippa Rouse, Director of Visa Services for the UK Border Agency

The Bangladeshi Police worked in close cooperation with UK Border Agency officers in Dhaka, discovering that the applicants had misrepresented their employment status and produced forged bank statements.

Children detained at Heathrow held in "degrading" conditions

Children detained by the UK Border Agency at Heathrow Airport are being held in "degrading" conditions.

A report by the Independent Monitoring Board also found rooms used to hold children were "disgraceful."

It recommends that non-custodial, child-friendly accommodation be provided for families. The Border Agency says Heathrow's operators BAA are responsible for the standard of custody suites.