11 illegal immigrants held in London

Eleven alleged illegal immigrants living in tin-roofed cabins built behind three terraced houses in the capital`s north west Willesden were arrested today in a dawn raid, the British police said.

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 23:51 PM IST

London: Eleven alleged illegal immigrants
living in tin-roofed cabins built behind three terraced houses
in the capital`s north west Willesden were arrested today in a
dawn raid, the British police said.

More than 40 people were found living in cramped
conditions in the three small terraced houses and a number of
tin-roofed outhouses that had been built behind the
properties.

Twenty-five officers from the UK Border Agency and the
Met Police forced their way into the houses in Strode Road
shortly after 6 a.m.

The Filipino and Chinese immigrants were found living
in a "warren" of purpose built cabins and small warehouses.
They were paying between 100 and 200 pounds a week to
stay in the cabins.

Eleven of the occupants were arrested for a variety of
immigration offences and are set to be deported.

A number of those arrested were led from the property
in handcuffs.

The 78-year-old owner of the three properties, Hin
Siong Lan Chow Wing, known as Jimmy, said he did not know that
any of the people living in the cabins were illegal immigrants
and denied that any of them work for him.

"I`m just an old man. I`m a retired video engineer.
None of these people work for me. They just pay me rent - it`s
my pension," Wing said.

"If any of them are illegal, they didn`t tell me.

Nobody ever told me they were illegal. People just come to me
and ask for somewhere to live. All the buildings were here
when I bought the houses," he said.

Steve Fisher, from the UK Border Agency, said: "The
people here today will be detained and interviewed and if it
is confirmed that they are here illegally, we will be seeking
to remove them from the UK in the shortest time possible.

"Some of the people we arrested today could be on
planes within 72 hours," the official said.

Wing was not arrested, but Brent council is now
pursuing a case against him as it is thought he did not seek
planning permission for any of the cabins built on the
property.

PTI