Four illegal workers caught in Berwick
Immigration enforcement officers have caught four immigration offenders during an operation at a business in Berwick.
Acting on intelligence, officers executed a search warrant at Amran’s Indian Kitchen and Grill, Hide Hill, last Wednesday evening at 8pm. Staff were questioned to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK.
Three Bangladeshi men, aged 21, 27 and 48, were found to be in the UK illegally. All three were arrested and are now detained pending their removal from the country.
A fourth man, aged 38 and also from Bangladesh, was found to be working illegally. He was not arrested due to an outstanding application under consideration by the Home Office but left the premises. The business was forced to close due to a lack of staff following the visit.
Amran’s now faces a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found unless they can demonstrate that appropriate right to work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document. This is a potential total penalty of £80,000.
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Assistant Director Phillippa Russell, from the North East & Cumbria Immigration Enforcement team, said: “We are working hard to identify, arrest and remove people who are abusing the UK’s immigration system. All of our operations are intelligence led and information from the public is a vital part of this work. I would encourage people with detailed and specific information about illegal immigration to contact us.
“Our efforts to tackle illegal working will not stop. Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime. It defrauds the Treasury, undercuts honest businesses and cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities. Those who ignore the rules, and do not carry out the simple checks to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK, will face the consequences.”
New measures included in the Immigration Bill currently progressing through Parliament will make it easier to prosecute employers using illegal labour, increase the maximum prison sentence for doing so to five years and also close down businesses which continue to flout the rules.
Those who work illegally will themselves be committing a criminal offence and face the prospect of having their earnings seized, and we will also continue to seek to remove from the UK anyone who does not have the right to be here.