Illegal workers seized at restaurants

SEVEN illegal workers have been seized by UK Border Agency immigration officers following two raids on restaurants.The illegal workers were found working at restaurants in Hadleigh and Brantham during a crackdown on rogue employers and are now being held pending deportation procedures.

Grant Sherlock

SEVEN illegal workers have been seized by UK Border Agency immigration officers following two raids on restaurants.

The illegal workers were found working at restaurants in Hadleigh and Brantham during a crackdown on rogue employers and are now being held pending deportation procedures.

The first operation took place at the Royal Bengal Indian Restaurant in High Street, Hadleigh.

Immigration officers surrounded the restaurant and sealed all exits before questioning the workers and checking their identity documents. Four employees were identified as Bangladeshi nationals with no permits to work in the UK.

The men, aged 24, 27, 29 and 47, included three illegal immigrants and one person who had overstayed his visa.

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The owner of the restaurant was served with a fixed penalty notice after the June 6 raid for employing illegal workers. He now faces a fine of up to £20,000.

Officers from the agency, supported by Suffolk police, then carried out a second raid on June 20, this time at the Szechuan Inn in Cattawade Street, Cattawade, near Brantham.

Three Chinese men were arrested there after they were found to be illegal workers. They were a 31-year-old illegal immigrant, a 30-year-old failed asylum seeker and a 38-year-old who had broken his visa regulations.

The failed asylum seeker was also charged with a criminal offence after he was found to be possessing false documents.

The owner of the restaurant, who had already been convicted of employing illegal workers previously, was served with a fixed penalty notice and now faces a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.

TheBorder Agency is now taking steps to remove all seven illegal immigrants from the country “as soon as possible”.

It said since a new law was introduced on February 29, which meant employers of illegal workers could be find up to £10,000 per illegal worker, operations carried out by UK Border Agency officers based at Felixstowe have resulted in fines of £122,500 being imposed on so-called rogue employers in Suffolk and north east Essex.

Gail Adams, UK Border Agency regional director, said: “The UK Border Agency is determined to put a stop to illegal working in the East of England. We have teams visiting businesses across the region to make sure they are not breaking the law.

“Anyone found to be working illegally should know that we will seek to remove them from the country.”

Do you think penalties for rogue employers are tough enough? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, Press House, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk