Eleven illegal workers have been arrested after a UK Border Agency operation targeting a restaurant in Marylebone.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited the Lahore Restaurant on Gateforth Street at 19:00 on Saturday 1 September 2012, where they questioned staff to check if they had the right to work in the UK.
They arrested 7 Pakistani men aged between 23 and 37, 2 Afghan men aged 24, a 26-year-old Afghan man and a 47-year-old Indian man.
Six of the Pakistanis and the Indian had overstayed their visas, all the Afghans had entered the country illegally, and a 24-year-old Pakistani was working in breach of his visa.
Ten have been detained pending their removal from the UK whilst the Indian has been placed on immigration bail while his case is progressed.
The employer was served a notice warning a fine of up to £110,000, £10,000 per illegal worker, will be imposed unless proof is provided to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.
The operation was part of a nationwide campaign to crack down on those who have over-stayed their visas. Since the campaign began in May more than 2,000 over-stayers who were living in London have left the UK.
Steve Fisher, from the UK Border Agency, said:
‘We’re carrying out operations like this almost every day in London, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.
‘Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.
‘We’re happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.’
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can find information on the UKBA website or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.