Belfast Telegraph

Suspected immigrant workers arrested in Northern Ireland

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

NINE people have been arrested after a major crackdown on illegal immigration.

They were detained during Home Office raids at shopping centres in 19 different locations including Belfast and Londonderry.

The co-ordinated operation – one of the biggest mounted in Northern Ireland – specifically targeted foreign nationals suspected of working illegally on mobile phone accessory stalls.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: "There have been nine arrests so far. Others may follow. Investigations are ongoing."

Home Office criminal investigation officers swooped on phone carts in three shopping centres in Belfast, two in Derry as well as others in Armagh, Lisburn, Ballymena and Enniskillen, Dungannon and Bangor yesterday.

It is understood most were from India and Pakistan.

The suspects were taken to a detention centre in Larne, where they could be held for up to five days awaiting deportation.

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