South Norfolk restaurant faces penalty after three illegal workers are arrested
A south Norfolk restaurant is facing the prospect of a substantial financial penalty after three illegal workers were found on the premises during a Home Office Immigration Enforcement operation.
Immigration officers visited The Mermaid Balti House in Norwich Road, Hedenham, on Thursday at 5.30pm.
Checks revealed that three members of staff were immigration offenders from Bangladesh. Two, aged 40 and 24, had overstayed their visas and the third, aged 38, had entered the UK illegally.
The 24-year-old remains in immigration detention pending his removal from the country while the others have been released on immigration bail while work to return them to Bangladesh is carried out.
The business now faces a potential penalty of up to £10,000 for each of the illegal workers - £30,000 in total - unless the owner can demonstrate that appropriate pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.
Jack Davis, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “Where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.
“But we are also looking to target the employers who take on illegal workers and encourage illegal immigration in the process.
“We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who choose to break the law will face heavy financial penalties.
“I would urge anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected illegal working to get in touch.”
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.gov.uk/check-an-employees-right-to-work-documents or call the employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.