Illegal Workers Caught in Home Office Operations

08 December 2015

Nine immigration offenders have been caught following intelligence led operations in Counties Londonderry, Antrim and Down by Immigration Enforcement officers.

 On Saturday 21 November a 46-year-old Malaysian man was arrested when he was discovered working illegally at China Express on Main Street, Crumlin.


Two Chinese men, aged 46 and 32, who had no right to work were also escorted from the premises. They must report regularly to the Home Office while their cases are progressed.


On Saturday 28 November, officers visited Aarong Indian restaurant on Catherine Street, Limavady, and questioned staff to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK.

Two 24-year-old Bangladeshi men who were found working there were arrested when checks revealed that they were in the country illegally.

On Friday 4 December at Golden Seaside on The Square, Kilkeel, three Chinese men, a 27-year-old and two aged 50 were arrested when they were found to be in the country illegally.

On Saturday 5 December a 51-year-old Chinese woman who was in the country illegally was discovered working at Lagan Palace on Ormeau Road, Belfast and arrested.

All those arrested are now in detention awaiting removal from the country.

The businesses were each served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out such as seeing a passport or official Home Office document.


Mike Golden, from the Scotland & Northern Ireland Immigration Enforcement Team, said:

“As these operations show, we are working hard to arrest and remove those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.

“Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and deprives legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities. 

“There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences. 
“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to contact us.”

Information to help employers prevent illegal working can be found at It includes a new quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone can work in the UK. 

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.