Illegal restaurant workers found following Home Office swoop

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Illegal workers have been found at restaurants in Horsham and Crawley following a swoop by immigration officers.

Officers visited Rajkumar restaurant in Springfield Road, Horsham; Maemes takeaway in Queen Street, Horsham and Raj Tandoori in Broadfield, Crawley, during the swoop, which, say Home Office officials, followed intelligence reports.

Each business was served a referral notice in relation to illegal workers which warn that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless the employers can show that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out. If proof is not provided, says the Home Office, each business could be fined up to £20,000.

At Rajkumar, a 41-year-old Indian man was found working illegally. He was not arrested, says the Home Office, as he has an outstanding Home Office application. He was escorted from the premises and ordered to report to Immigration Enforcement while his case is progressed.

At Maemes officers arrested a 35-year-old Pakistani man found working illegally. And at Raj a 40-year-old man, also from Pakistan, was found working illegally, says the Home Office.

Both Pakistani men were transferred to immigration detention pending their removal from the UK.

Officers also made a referral to the fire service about the condition of staff accommodation above Maemes, where the 35-year-old arrested man lived. The accommodation was said to be poor, cramped, unlit and with walls covered in damp.

Richard Lederle, head of the South East immigration enforcement team, 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.

“I urge anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”

Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties. It includes a new quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.

People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.