Eight illegal workers have been detained following an operation by enforcement officers with the assistance of Police Scotland in Livingston.
On Friday 19 July 2013, officers visited the China Glen restaurant within the Livingston Designer Outlet to carry out checks on the immigration status of staff.
They arrested 6 men and 2 women from China aged between 23 and 59 who were working illegally. During the operation, 3 of the immigration offenders attempted to flee the restaurant but were caught by immigration officers and the police.
All 8 people are currently detained pending their removal from the UK.
Following the operation and the arrests, the restaurant has closed until further notice.
The business has been served with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers. If the employer is unable to provide evidence that legally-required pre employment checks were carried out, a fine of up to £10,000 per worker will be imposed.
Adam Scarcliffe, from the Immigration Enforcement team, Home Office, said:
‘Illegal working fuels illegal immigration to the UK and that is why we are carrying out operations like these.
‘If you are a business you must carry out the correct checks on your staff or you could end up with a heavy fine.
‘We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face heavy fines.
‘I would urge members of the public with detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.’
Measures to toughen civil penalties against rogue businesses employing illegal migrants, while cutting red tape for legitimate employers, have been unveiled by the Government.
A 6 week consultation has been launched as part of government plans under the Immigration Bill to make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live and work in the UK, and to take tougher action against the rogue employers who exploit them. The consultation papers can be accessed on the consultations page.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:
‘Every day our enforcement officers undertake operations like this across the country to combat illegal working.
‘Employers already have a duty to check that their employees have the right to work in the UK, and can face civil penalties if they fail to do so. The Immigration Bill, which we will introduce later this year, will include proposals to get even tougher on unscrupulous employers, who exploit illegal immigrants and undercut legitimate business. But we will also simplify processes to make it easier for compliant employers to fulfil their responsibilities.’
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit our Preventing illegal working pages, or they can call our employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Article courtesy of UKBA, and is subject to Crown Copyright