Author: Janet Hughes
A Gloucestershire restaurant is facing a potential fine of £180,000 after suspected immigration offenders were found working at its premises,
Immigration officials visited The Spice Room, in Moreton-in-Marsh, last week and found nine men believed to be working in breach of the regulations.
This means the restaurant in Oxford Street is facing a potential penalty of £180,000 after the intelligence led operation.
Six men were arrested. Four from Bangladesh, aged between 29 and 66, and a 40-year-old Indian man had overstayed their visas.
A further 39-year-old man, also from Bangladesh, was a failed asylum seeker.
All are now in immigration detention pending their removal from the UK.
A further three men from Bangladesh, aged between 32 and 64, who have no permission to work because of outstanding Home Office applications were escorted from the premises and have been ordered to report regularly to Immigration Enforcement while their cases are progressed.
If this is proved the restaurant faces penalties of up to £20,000 per immigration offender.
The Spice Room was served a referral notice in relation to the illegal workers after the raid at 7.30pm Thursday April 5,
The notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.
If proof is not provided, this is a potential total of up to £180,000.
Adam Duffin, from South West Immigration Enforcement, said: “We are happy to work with businesses to explain the simple pre-employment checks needed to establish a person’s right to work in the UK, but to those who choose to ignore the rules the message is clear – we will find you and you will face a heavy financial penalty.
“Illegal working is not victimless; it undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the public purse.