Migrant criminal network operating in London: BBC
Wed Jul 16, 6:33 PM ET
LONDON (AFP) – A BBC investigation has exposed a criminal network in London that exploits hundreds of illegal immigrants from India through cheap housing, faked documents and poorly paid, often dangerous work.
The network operates in a west London neighbourhood, acquiring forged passports, driving licences and social security papers, the BBC said Wednesday.
BBC journalists used hidden cameras to show two men claiming to be able to deliver a variety of documents.
The reporters said their contacts boasted of being able to forge copies of any document that they needed, from social security cards to passports from any country.
They also said they had customers in northern England and that, thanks to a contact in Paris, they could smuggle in illegal immigrants on lorries crossing the Channel.
The investigators were able to purchase forged social security documents and British driving licences, among other documents.
One undercover reporter was put to work by his contacts on a building site without any interview, or showing any documents.
He was assigned to work on the roof of a building without any safety training or equipment, such as a hard hat.
The team also discovered more than 40 houses, each packed with around eight or nine illegal migrant labourers from Punjab, in India, in London's Asian-dominated Southall district.
The BBC said it had passed on details of its investigation to Britain's border security agency.