Seven illegal workers have been arrested following immigration raids on shops in Thornton Heath.
The men were detained after police and Home Office officials swooped on two butchers, a fishmonger and a hair salon in High Street yesterday morning.
Six of the men – three Pakistanis, a Ghanaian, an Indian and a Turkish national – have been transferred to immigration detention and are facing deportation.
At S&S Halal Butchers officers found a 23-year-old Turkish man who had overstayed his visitor visa, a 29-year-old Ghanaian man who had overstayed his student visa and a 34-year-old Pakistani man who was a failed asylum seeker.
Officers found three illegal immigrants in the shops, a 41-year-old Pakistani man and a 49-year-old Indian man in J&J Halal Butchers and a 37-year-old Afghan man in J&J Fish Market.
In Faiz Hair Salon they found a 31-year-old Pakistani man who had overstayed his visitor visa.
The shops were given warnings that fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker arrested will be imposed, unless they can show appropriate right to work document checks were carried out.
S&S Halal Butchers could face charges of £60,000, £40,000 for J&J Halal Butchers and £20,000 each for J&J Fish Market and Faiz Hair Salon.
Jill Smith, head of the South London Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, urged people with information about immigration abuse to come forward.
She said: “There will be no slow down in our efforts to tackle illegal working in south London. Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime. It defrauds the treasury of much needed funds, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences.”