CO ANTRIM BUSINESS FACING PENALTY FOR EMPLOYING ILLEGAL WORKERS

24 March 2014

Acting on intelligence, officers visited Mama Chef Chinese takeaway, Carrickfergus, at 6pm last Friday (21March), and questioned staff to check if they had the right to be and work in the UK.
 
The restaurant, on Prince Andrew Way, was found to be employing four Chinese illegal workers.  
 
Officers arrested two men, aged 19 and 22, and a 35-year-old who woman who had all entered the country illegally.
 
A 46-year-old man who was a failed asylum seeker was also arrested.
 
All are now in Home Office detention while steps are taken to remove them from the country.
 
The business was served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out, a potential total of £40,000.
 
Assistant Director Mike Golden, from the Home Office’s Northern Ireland Immigration Enforcement Team, said:
 
“We are working hard to track down people breaking the UK’s immigration laws and carry out regular operations across Northern Ireland.
 
“Illegal working is not a victimless crime. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.

“Information from the public can be a huge help in our work and I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
 
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
 
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can https://www.gov.uk/check-an-employees-right-to-work-documents or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
 
For more information and contact details for Home Office Immigration Enforcement teams in Northern Ireland visit:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contact-details-for-immigration-compliance-and-enforcement-teams
 
 
NOTES TO EDITORS
 
1.       Arrests are carried out by trained immigration officers who carry out operations at businesses and private addresses, acting on intelligence received from the public and other sources. All intelligence is protected.
 
2.       On Tuesday 26 March the Home Secretary announced that the UK Border Agency would be replaced by two new immigration commands within the Home Office- an immigration and visa service and an immigration law enforcement organisation. These changes came into effect on Monday 1 April 2013.
 
3.       For all the latest Home Office news visit www.gov.uk/home-office. follow the Home Office on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ukhomeoffice.
 
4.       The Home Office is a member of the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) in Northern Ireland. The OCTF was established in 2000 to provide strategic direction for a multi-agency approach to tackling organised crime.  Chaired by Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford, the Task Force brings together representatives from Government, law enforcement and a wide range of other agencies.  It is a forum where partner agencies can discuss problems, share information and agree priorities

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