Article by Simon Murfitt: A Billericay Indian restaurant is facing a fine of up to £60,000 after three illegal immigrant workers were arrested in an immigration raid.
Spice King in High Street was visited by officers at 5.45pm on Tuesday (January 24) and arrested a man who tried to run away from the premises on their arrival.
Checks subsequently identified him as a 37-year-old Bangladeshi national who had overstayed his student visa. He has been detained pending his removal from the UK. Officers also found roughly £6,000 in suspected illegal earnings in his accommodation.
This has been detained under the Proceeds of Crime Act and will be the subject of future forfeiture proceedings, which if successful, will see the money returned to the public purse.
Two further illegal workers from Bangladesh were also identified at the business.
A 32-year-old man who had sought leave to remain in the UK by deception has been detained pending his removal from the UK.
And a 29-year-old man, who has an ongoing immigration application which does not permit him to work, was escorted from the premises.
Immigration enforcement officers also visited Artemis Kebab in Lampits Hill, Corringham, at 3.38pm on the same afternoon.
Immigration checks found three Turkish members of staff were working without permission. One of the men, a 28-year-old failed asylum seeker, has been detained pending his removal from the UK.
The others, a 26-year-old with an outstanding immigration application that does not allow him to work and a 22-year-old failed asylum seeker, must report regularly to the Home Office while their cases are progressed.
Artemis in Corringham was also raided by enforcement officers A fourth immigration offender, who was not working, was also arrested at the premises.
The 33-year-old Turkish national was found to be a failed asylum seeker and must report regularly to the Home Office while his case is dealt with.
Both business were served referral notices in relation to three illegal workers.
The notices warn that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless the employers can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.
Richard Lederle, assistant director for immigration enforcement in the south east, said:
"Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties. We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law will be found and will be punished. Using illegal labour is not victimless. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest businesses and cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities. All of our operations are intelligence led and I would encourage people with detailed and specific information about illegal immigration to contact us."
People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime
Article by Simon Murfitt, Essex Live