Illegal Workers Caught in Home Office Operations (1)

11 January 2016


Six immigration offenders have been caught following operations by Immigration Enforcement officers in Co Armagh, Belfast and Co Down.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited Indian Tree takeaway on Carleton Street, Portadownon Thursday 7 January and questioned staff to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK.

A 39-year-old Bangladeshi man discovered on the premises was arrested when it was found that he was in the country illegally.

Also on Thursday officers visited Golden Sun takeaway on Bloomfield Road Belfast where they arrested a 29-year-old Chinese woman found working illegally.


On Saturday 9 January at Farley House, The Square, Ballygowanofficers arrested a 53-year-old Chinese man who was working as a chef and in the country illegally and a 40-year-old Chinese woman who had overstayed her visa.


Two further Chinese people, a man aged 38 and a woman aged 34, who were working in the kitchen but had no permission to work were removed from the premises. They will have to report to the Home Office while their cases are progressed.


Golden Sun and Farley House were each served with a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless the employer 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.


This is a potential total of up to £80,000 for Farley House and £20,000 for Golden Sun.


All those arrested have now been transferred to immigration detention pending their removal from the country.


Mike Golden, from Immigration Enforcement in Northern Ireland said:

“As this operation shows, 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.”


Immigration Enforcement is an operational directorate within the Home Office responsible for enforcing immigration law.

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.