Illegal workers seized from Thame restaurant

The Star and Garter in Thame
The Star and Garter in Thame

A GROUP of illegal immigrants have been arrested after a raid on an Indian restaurant in Thame.

A total of four people were seized from the Star and Garter, in the High Street, on Tuesday afternoon.

Acting on intelligence, Border Agency officers questioned staff to check they had the right to work in the UK.

Four Bangladeshi men were arrested. Three had entered the country illegally, while one was in the UK having overstayed his visa.

Three of the four, aged 21, 29 and 39, are now in detention and awaiting removal from the UK, while the fourth, aged 35, was granted immigration bail while the UK Border Agency progresses his case.

The owner of the restaurant faces a fine of up to £40,000, £10,000 per illegal worker unless they can prove to the agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

Terry Gibbs, head of UK Border Agency’s Oxfordshire Local Immigration Team, said: “This is the latest in a series of operations we’ve carried out in the Thames Valley and we continue to have success targeting employers who use illegal workers.

“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.”

Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies which fail to carry out proper checks on staff.

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/advice-for-employers 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 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org