THREE illegal workers who overstayed their visas are being deported and a small shop is being fined £20,000 after a day of immigration raids.

It follows two illegal workers being caught in the act at Templars Square shopping centre last month, where they left in handcuffs after immigration officers questioned their rights to work in the country.

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The pair were working on a mobile phone kiosk at lunchtime when they were approached by undercover officers wearing jeans, hoodies and bullet proof vests.


That's when the lengthy process of questioning began, before they were taken out the back in handcuffs and driven to Abingdon – Oxford's only custody suite.

Checks confirmed that the two Indian men, aged 33 and 36 had overstayed their visas.

The third man was arrested when the immigration squad from the Home Office walked into Fred's Discount Store on the same day last month.


Immigration officers do not have the same powers as the police, however they can arrest somebody for work related offences.

Acting on intelligence, the officers carried out checks on the immigration status of a 47-year-old Indian man which revealed he had overstayed his visa.

It was part of a three-part operation which saw the force join up with the police to visit the shopping centre, the discount store and an ice-cream shop that was given the all-clear.

Read our feature: A day in the life of an Oxford police officer - from community care to immigration raids

A Home Office spokesperson confirmed that the small business will be served with a 'civil penalty referral notice warning' – a fine of £20,000 dished out to the shop for hiring illegal workers.

However the shop can appeal this fine, if they can prove that they carried out the legally required pre-employment checks like seeing a passport, or a Home Office document giving the person the green-light to work in the UK.

The three men are now detained, pending removal from this country.

Read our blog: a day in the life of a Thames Valley police officer

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