Five suspected immigration offenders have been found working at a Torquay restaurant which has already been fined Ã‚Â£30,000 for employing illegal staff. Immigration officers visited Oriental Touch, 21 St Marychurch Road, on Tuesday, 19 January after receiving intelligence of illegal workers there.
Entering the business at about 1730, officers checked the immigration status of staff and found that five could not produce evidence they had the right to work in the UK.
The five – three Chinese men aged 21, 21 and 23, a 57-year-old Chinese woman and a 30-year-old Malaysian man – were taken to Torquay police station for further questioning.
If it is confirmed that they are immigration offenders, steps will be taken to remove them from the UK and the restaurant will be served with a notice of potential liability for employing illegal workers.
If the employers are unable to provide evidence that legally-required checks were carried out before giving the workers jobs – such as asking for a passport or another Home Office document – they will face a fine of up to Ã‚Â£10,000 for each illegal worker – up to Ã‚Â£50,000 in total.
Oriental Touch has already been fined Ã‚Â£30,000 for employing illegal workers.
On 17 September last year, officers found that eight members of staff employed there had no legal right to work in the UK.
Despite being given time to produce evidence that right-to-work checks were carried out on the migrant workers, the employers were unable to do so.
Jane Farleigh, regional director of the UK Border Agency in Wales and South West, said:
‘Raids such as this are part of an ongoing clampdown on illegal working to reduce the attractiveness of the UK to illegal immigrants.
‘Anyone who takes on a foreign national without permission to work in the UK is breaking the law, undermining law-abiding businesses and faces a big fine.
‘Last year we removed 180 offenders found in Devon and Cornwall from the UK, carried out 84 illegal working raids and handed out fines worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
‘There are strict rules about which foreign nationals can get a job in the UK and businesses have a clear responsibility to carry out the right checks.’
The Government is currently making a series of reforms to the UK’s immigration system.
Identity cards for foreign nationals are being introduced which will help protect against identity fraud and illegal working.
The Australian-style points based system for managing migration is ensuring only those with the skills the UK needs are allowed to work.