Village restaurant in illegal worker raid

A LAVENHAM restaurant has been caught employing three illegal workers as part of a countywide crackdown by the UK Border Agency.

Colin Adwent

A LAVENHAM restaurant has been caught employing three illegal workers as part of a countywide crackdown by the UK Border Agency.

Officers conducted an intelligence-led operation at Memsaab Indian Cuisine in Church Street.

Checks revealed that three male members of staff, aged 37, 30 and 25, had no permission to be in the UK, according to the agency. Arrangements are now being made to remove them from the country.


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All three were from Bangladesh and had allegedly overstayed their visas.

Memsaab Indian Cuisine now faces a potential fine of up to �30,000 unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks, such as asking for a passport or other Home Office document, were carried out.

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Friday evening's raid coincides with a large-scale advertising campaign warning bosses of the heavy financial penalties they can expect if caught employing illegal foreign labour.

Chief immigration officer Jack Davis, of the local immigration team for Suffolk and North-East Essex, said: “There is no excuse for an employer failing to check the identity of those applying for jobs. There are simple and straightforward ways of checking a foreign national's right to work in the UK.

“We support and encourage employers to comply with the rules and those who fail to do so can expect to get caught.”

The operation is the latest in an ongoing clampdown on illegal working in Suffolk. This year the UK Border Agency has issued fines worth approximately �165,000 to 16 businesses in the county.

A tough new civil penalty system was brought in last year to provide a fast and effective way of tackling bosses who fail to carry out proper checks on workers from outside Europe.

A fine of up to �10,000 per worker can be imposed for every illegal worker found at a business.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed in Suffolk should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be assured.

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