Nail Bars Targeted in Crackdown on Modern Slavery
Almost 70 businesses have been warned they may be facing fines in a week-long crack down on illegal working.
More than 160 nail bars in London were targeted in the operation carried out by immigration officers last month, the Home Office revealed.
Figures from an article in the Guardian said 97 people were held, 68 businesses warned they could face fines and 14 people were identified as potentially at risk of modern slavery.
Vietnamese nationals were amongst the majority of those arrested along with people from Ghana, Pakistan, Ghana, India, Nigeria and Mongolia.
The Home Office said those who were potential victims of trafficking would be offered support, while those who had no right to be in the UK will be removed, according to the article.
According to a report on ITV.com Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “This operation sends a strong message to those employers who ruthlessly seek to exploit vulnerable people and willfully abuse our immigration laws.
He added: “Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society.”
The Guardian article said the operation was led by Immigration Enforcement and took place at the end of November and start of December last year.
Industries targeted by immigration officers so far have included construction, care, cleaning, catering, taxi and car wash during 2016, with further activity in similar sectors planned for 2017.
Businesses could face fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker if owners cannot prove that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.
As home secretary the now Prime Minister Theresa May pushed forward the first legislation of its kind in Europe to tackle modern-day slavery and as prime minister appointed the first Anti-Slavery Commissioner in the world.