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Friday, 28 November 2014

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12 arrests as immigration officers raid north and west Cumbrian businesses

Twelve people were arrested in a series of raids by immigration officers.

Five businesses in Carlisle, Cockermouth, Keswick and Workington have been left facing a bill of more than £100,000 between them for employing illegal workers.

Home Office immigration officers swooped on the businesses – including a Carlisle Indian restaurant and a car wash off Botchergate – following tip offs.

Four Bangladeshi men were arrested at the Waterloo Indian restaurant in Aglionby, Carlisle, on Thursday evening.

Two of the men, aged 22 and 29, were found to be working in breach of their visa conditions while a third man, 33, had overstayed his visa, and a 57-year-old man had entered the country illegally.

Three of the four tried to escape through a back door but were caught by enforcement officers.

They next hit Carlisle Hand Car Wash in King Street on Friday morning where two Iraqi men were found without the correct permission to work.

One man, aged 23, was a failed asylum seeker, and the other, a 24-year-old, had outstayed his visa and both were ordered off the premises.

Officers then stormed Paprika Indian Restaurant in Wilson Street, Workington, and arrested a 31-year-old Bangladeshi man who also had no permission to work.

Fiza Spice in South Street, Cockermouth, was next on the hit list where two Bangladeshi men, aged 29 and 30, were arrested for outstaying their visas.

And finally the team visited Royal Bengal in Central Car Park Road, Keswick, where a 23-year-old man and a 43-year-old man, both Bangladeshi, were also found to have been overstaying their visas.

A 39-year-old woman from Canada was the last to be arrested for overstaying in the country after officers raided her home in South Watt Street, Workington, on Saturday morning.

The Home Office said the two Iraqis at the Carlisle Hand Car Wash, the man found at Paprika, and the 29-year-old arrested at Fiza have all been placed on immigration bail while their cases are progressed.

But they face being deported if found to have no leave to remain. The remaining eight people are now in immigration detention before being removed from the UK.

All businesses involved were warned they face a fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker found on their premises.

The fines are imposed unless the correct right-to-work checks were proved to have been carried out.

It means Rahi could be fined £40,000; Carlisle Hand Wash, Fiza and Royal Bengal up to £20,000 each; and £10,000 for Paprika.

Wallace Wilson, from the Home Office North East and Cumbria Immigration Enforcement team, said illegal working had a serious impact on communities.

“It undermines legitimate businesses and takes jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work,” he said.

“We are happy to work with businesses in Cumbria to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face financial penalties.

“These arrests are also a stark warning to anyone who is in the UK illegally,” added Mr Wilson. We will catch up with you and you will face arrest, detention and removal from the country.”

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