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Punjabi singer among 16 held in UK

London, February 16
A singer from Punjab is among 16 Indians arrested in a series of operations by Britain's immigration officials for offences that include entering into arrangements with EU nationals to register bogus marriages in order to stay in the UK.

Official sources here said operations were carried out in recent months at various places in Britain, including companies where some of those arrested were working illegally. Garry Sandhu (29) described as a "rising Bhangra star", had been sent back to India because he did not have permission to be in the UK. He first came to the UK under a different identity and claimed asylum, which was refused by the UK Border Agency.

He was then placed on immigration bail but absconded. He came to the attention of immigration officials several years later when he was caught driving without insurance, a press release said. Six Indian nationals were arrested for working illegally, and jailed for taking part in bogus marriages. The six men were arrested in enforcement operations in South Wales.

On February 9, the men were found working illegally in shops in Caerphilly. They had committed immigration offences, including overstaying their visas and working in breach of their visa conditions.

All six men have been detained pending their removal from the UK. The shops where they worked illegally now face fines of up to 10,000 pounds for each illegal worker, unless they can prove that they carried out the correct pre-employment checks. A UK Border Agency spokesperson in South Wales said: "This series of successful raids shows that our officers will track down immigration offenders wherever they are. Any business that takes on a foreign national without permission to work is breaking the law and faces a heavy fine." PTI

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