London : Indians are among 700 immigrants arrested working illegally in Scotland in the last three years, according to official figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The figures, obtained by the Glasgow-based newspaper The Herald, show that between 2004 and 2006 the numbers arrested across Scotland almost doubled from 133 to 254. As many as 723 people have been arrested by immigration officials since January 2004.
The figures are expected to increase in future as a result of more proactive work by immigration officials and increasing numbers of people being lured from abroad to work in Scotland and the UK.
In Glasgow alone 201 people have been arrested for working illegally in restaurants, shops and takeaways in the city since 2004. Some 74 people have been arrested in Edinburgh, 28 in Dunfermline and 20 in Aberdeen.
Community leaders in Glasgow have reportedly warned that thousands of people from countries such as India, Pakistan and Russia are travelling to work in the city without the proper permits. Some pay thousands of pounds for false papers.
Phil Taylor, regional director for the Border and Immigration Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: "We are adopting a high profile approach to tackling illegal working in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Border and Immigration staff are gathering hard intelligence and acting on it to ensure our laws are not abused.".