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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Immigration officials arrest three in north Cumbria raids

Immigration officials raided three premises in Carlisle and Penrith.

Home Office enforcement officers arrested a person at each of the properties, following the raids.

Officers visited two restaurants on Thursday and a car wash yesterday.

They spoke to staff working at the businesses to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK. All three were found to be in the country illegally.

The two found at the restaurants were found to have overstayed their visas – but there was no evidence to suggest they had been employed there.

The man found at the car wash was found to be working in breach of his visa conditions.

The three included a 24-year-old Bangladeshi man at the Penrith Tandoori and Balti in Middlegate, Penrith, and a 27-year-old Bangladeshi man at Rafiks Indian Restaurant in Botchergate, Carlisle. Both were later released and will report to the Home Office while their cases are progressed.

A 25-year-old Indian man, working illegally at the Hand Car Wash in King Street, Carlisle, remains in Home Office custody while arrangements are made to have him deported.

The owner of Hand Car Wash will now be issued with a civil penalty fine of up to £20,000, unless they can provide proof that they carried out all the proper “right-to-work” checks.

Phillippa Russell, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “This operation shows that we will go anywhere to target illegal workers. Illegal working undercuts honest employers, defrauds the public purse and cheats legitimate job hunters out of employment opportunities.

“We are happy to work with employers to explain the simple checks that need to be carried out to establish a person’s right to work in the UK.

“The message to those who choose to ignore the rules is clear: we will find you and you will face a heavy financial penalty.”

She added: “I would ask anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected illegal working to get in touch.”

Anyone unsure about the legalities of employing illegal workers can visit www.gov.uk/check-an-employees-right-to-work-documents or call the Employers’ Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

To share information about suspected immigration abuse, visit www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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