The business, Shagorika curry house now faces a potential fine of up to £20,000 – £10,000 per illegal worker – unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out. The raids took place after a tip-off from a member of the public. It is the second time in three years that the restaurant has been raided by immigration officials although no action was taken in the first instance. Officers also visited a residential address in Walcot Road where they found a 35-year-old from Pakistan who had also overstayed his visa. He remains on immigration bail while action to remove him is taken by the agency.
Phil Rudkin, the agency’s chief immigration officer, said: “We are working hard to find and remove those who have no right to live or work in the UK. The message we are sending to people flouting the law is clear – more raids are planned and you will be caught. Our enforcement visits are intelligence-led and we appeal to the public to let us know when they have information about suspected immigration offenders.”
Shagorika has been based in the town since 1980. Owner Ala Uddin said the incident was a misunderstanding and denied that his restaurant had any knowledge that the men were illegal immigrants. One of the men was not working in the restaurant but staying in a flat above it, he said, while the other man had provided official-looking immigration documents that have turned out to be false. “He showed me a passport but I now learn that it was a false passport. How was I supposed to know,” he said.
Chief immigration officer Mr Rudkin added: “By law, employers must check that their staff have the right to work in the UK and we are happy to provide help for people who want to play by the rules.”
At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.
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