‘Illegal takeaway workers’ arrested in immigration raids

Tandoori Hut in Hamilton was one of the restaurants targeted. Picture: Google Street View
Tandoori Hut in Hamilton was one of the restaurants targeted. Picture: Google Street View
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Immigration officers have arrested eight alleged illegal workers following enforcement operations at four takeaway businesses.

The enforcement officers visited premises in Hamilton, Hawick and Larkhall as part of intelligence led operations on Thursday evening.

The four businesses are now facing potential fines totalling £160,000 unless the employers can demonstrate appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, the Home Office said.

At Tandoori Hut in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, which they visited at 8pm, officers arrested two Indian men over alleged immigration offences.

They were a 26-year-old who had overstayed his student visa and a 30-year-old who had illegally entered the UK.

READ MORE: 7 arrested in ‘illegal workers’ raid on Queensferry Crossing

At Istanbul Fast Foods in Hawick in the Borders, which they went to at 6pm, they arrested three Indian men who were allegedly working illegally.

A 25-year-old and a 32-year-old were found to have overstayed their student visas while another 32-year-old man was found to be in the UK illegally.

Officers also found alleged illegal workers at both Seven Spices businesses which they visited at 5pm.

At the one in Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, a 38-year-old Indian man who had overstayed his student visa and a 42-year-old Pakistani man who had overstayed his visit visa were arrested.

At Seven Spices in Hamilton, a 30-year-old Pakistani man who had overstayed his student visa was arrested.

Ian Tyldesley, from Immigration Enforcement in Scotland, said: “We are happy to work with businesses to explain the simple pre-employment checks needed to establish a person’s right to work in the UK, but to those who choose to ignore the rules the message is clear - we will find you and you will face a heavy financial penalty.

“Illegal working is not victimless; it undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the public purse.

“I urge anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”

READ MORE: Illegal takeaway workers are found in immigration swoop

Each business was, or will be, served a referral notice in relation to illegal workers.

The notices warn that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found 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.

The Home Office said if proof is not provided, this is a potential total of up to £60,000 for Istanbul Fast Foods, £40,000 each for Tandoori Hut, and Seven Spices, London Street, Larkhall, and £20,000 for Seven Spices Cadzow Street, Hamilton.

All the men are now in immigration detention pending their removal from the UK, the Home Office said.