19 July 2013

Last night ( Thursday18 July), Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers acting on intelligence visited the Exotic Indian Restaurant, in Lurgan,  and the Shapla Indian Restaurant in Armagh to carry out immigration checks on staff.

At the Exotic on Church Place, Lurgan a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man who had overstayed his visa was caught and arrested.
Later at the Shapla Restaurant on Lower English Street, Armagh a 35-year-old Bangladeshi man was arrested also for overstaying his visa.
The businesses have each been served with a penalty notice for employing the illegal workers. To avoid fines of up to £10,000 per employee evidence must be provided that the correct pre-employment checks were made on the workers – such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.
Both men are being held in Home Office detention in Larne House, Larne while steps are taken to remove them to their home countries.
Mike Golden for the Home Office, said:
“Foreign nationals who are in this country illegally should be in no doubt that they will be caught, arrested and removed from the UK.
“We are determined to crack down on immigration offenders and anyone found living or working here illegally is liable to be detained and removed.”
Measures to toughen civil penalties against rogue businesses employing illegal migrants, while cutting red tape for legitimate employers, have been unveiled by the Government.
A six-week consultation has been launched as part of government plans under the Immigration Bill to make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live and work in the UK, and to take tougher action against the rogue employers who exploit them. The consultation can be accessed at
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:
“Every day our enforcement officers undertake operations like this across the country to combat illegal working.
“Employers already have a duty to check that their employees have the right to work in the UK, and can face civil penalties if they fail to do so. The Immigration Bill, which we will introduce later this year, will include proposals to get even tougher on unscrupulous employers, who exploit illegal immigrants and undercut legitimate business. But we will also simplify processes to make it easier for compliant employers to fulfil their responsibilities.”
Every year, the Home Office imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies which fail to carry out legally-required checks on their staff.
The Home Office provides support to employers so they can understand the rules, including visits by staff, a dedicated telephone helpline and website.
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business or someone is living in the UK illegally can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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 Follow the Home Office on Twitter at
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.