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Illegal Blackburn Indian restaurant workers arrested
8:00am Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
FIVE workers at an Indian restaurant have been arrested after being found to be in the UK illegally.
Four of those arrested are now being detained pending their deportation.
Immigration officers from the Home Office raided Mai’da, Eanam, Blackburn, after receiving tip-offs about the status of staff working at the restaurant.
Around 10 officers arrived in two vans and the doors of the busy restaurant were locked as diners were eating.
They then checked the paperwork of staff working at the venue.
The venue could now face a £50,000 fine after being served with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers.
Two men, aged 27 and 36, from Pakistan, a 48-year-old Indian man, a 30-year-old woman from Trinidad and Tobago and a 35-year-old man from Nepal were found to be in the UK illegally.
The Nepalese man has been released on immigration bail while his case is progressed.
He will report regularly to the Home Office during this time and will face removal if he is found to have no right to remain in the UK.
Karen McDonough, head of the Home Office’s North West immigration enforcement team, said: “Our enforcement teams carry out operations like this almost every day.
“These arrests are a warning to anyone who is in the UK illegally. We will catch up with and you will face arrest, detention and removal from the country.
“Illegal working is not victimless. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job hunters out of employment opportunities.
“I would urge members of the public with detailed and specific information about suspected illegal working to contact us.”
Mai’da could be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker unless proof is provided that the correct right to work checks were carried out.
During the raid, which happened at 6pm on Sunday, officers spoke to several members of staff and checked paperwork while inside the restaurant.
Diners inside at the time continued with their meal as normal, but bosses shut the front doors for around 15 minutes, re-opening them shortly after and continuing to serve new customers.
One diner who was eating inside at the time said: “The officers came in through the front door and started speaking to management, it was a bit of a surprise and everyone was looking to see what was going on.”
No-one was available for comment from Mai’da yesterday.