INVESTIGATORS from the UK Border Agency have detained two East Lancashire suspects after their fourth raid in a fortnight.

An operation staged at premises across Lancashire saw officers from the immigration service swoop on the Happy Shopper, in Coates Avenue, Barnoldswick, on Saturday.

Agency workers found a 27-year-old Pakistani man, who was said to be working there illegally, having overstayed a visa, and he was detained.

Later the same unit conducted a similar raid at Zainab Collections, a ladies fashion retailer in the Whalley Range area of Blackburn.

Border officials say that they discovered a 37-year-old was working at the Victoria Street store illegally, also having overstayed his visa. He was also arrested.

The previous evening had seen a raid carried out at the Millon takeaway in Freckleton and two Bangladeshi men, aged 29 and 33, detained in similar circumstances.

Just last week the UKBA also swooped on the Chicken Cottage takeaway, in Rosegrove Lane, Burnley, arresting Pakistani men aged 25 and 44.

Following the latest raids, Alison Wray, the UKBA’s north-west enforcement head, said: “We will continue to track down those who have no right to be living or working in the UK.

“This was a successful operation unearthing four immigration offenders. The message is clear - if you are here illegally we will find you, we will catch you and we will remove you from the UK.”

The shopkeepers in each case can face hefty fines if it is found that they failed to carry out adequate checks on suspect employees.