TWO men were arrested after trying to hide in cupboard in a bid to avoid immigration officials as they raided an Indian restaurant in Old Town this week.
Officers from the UK Border Agency carried out an operation targeting immigration offenders in Swindon and acting on information received by the community, raided Mela, in Victoria Road, at about 11am on Monday.
As officers entered the restaurant, two men reportedly tried to avoid them by hiding in a cupboard before they were caught.
Immigration checks on the pair revealed that a 31-year-old man had entered the UK illegally while a 34-year-old had stayed in the country illegally after his student visa expired.
The men – both from Bangladesh – were taken to Gablecross police station for further questioning and the 34-year-old is due to be transferred to immigration detention to await removal from the UK.
The 31-year-old was released and must report weekly to a local police station while an outstanding immigration application is dealt with – if he is found to have no right to remain in the UK he will also face removal.
Earlier the same day, officers arrested a Pakistani man at a property on Whitehead Street. The 24-year-old had stayed in the UK illegally after his visa expired.
The man was also taken to Gablecross Police Station and is due to be transferred to an immigration removal centre to await return to his home country.
Matthew Gregory, of the UK Border Agency, said: “I hope operations like this send out the message that we are tracking down and removing people who should not be here.”
No-one at the restaurant was available for comment.
Anyone who has information on suspected immigration offenders can visit http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/report-crime.