Five illegal immigrants were arrested and almost £7,000 in cash seized during an immigration operation in Croydon.
In the early morning of February 3, Home Office immigration enforcement officers inspected a house in Hamilton Road, Thornton Heath, after acting on an intelligence tip-off. They questioned occupants about their residency in the UK.
In the house, officers discovered £6,700 in cash hidden under a carpet, and five Indian men, aged between 25 and 48, were arrested in connection with overstaying their visas.
The cash found under the carpet was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act and was taken to Croydon Magistrates’ Court the following day.
On February 21, a magistrate ruled that the money was proceeds of crime and ordered its forfeiture, which was not contested by the men.
Jill Smith, head of the Home Office’s south London immigration enforcement team, said: “This impressive cash seizure demonstrates our officers’ ability to find more than just immigration offenders.”
She also warned: “Those who are in the country illegally will be arrested and removed.”
Two of the five men who overstayed their visas have been deported, and two others have been placed on immigration bail, pending removal from the country. The last man has subsequently failed to report to the Home Office.