IMMIGRATION officers discovered a worker at a Wearside takeaway shop had overstayed his visa after they carried out a raid.
Home Office staff from the Immigration Enforcement team visited King’s Flavour, in Park Lane, Sunderland, on Thursday evening, acting on intelligence that the business was employing people with no right to be in the UK.
Staff were questioned about their immigration status, and a 26-year-old man from India was subsequently arrested on suspicion of overstaying his visa.
He has now been detained, pending his removal from the UK.
King’s Flavour was served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £20,000 will be imposed for employing the illegal worker, unless evidence is provided that legally required pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.
Last month, the Echo revealed that three illegal immigrants from China were caught working at Great Wall Chinese Takeaway, which is in Southwick Road, Southwick.
Background checks on staff members revealed that three men had been working illegally at the takeaway.
The Southwick Road takeaway’s bosses could now be fined up to £60,000.
One man, aged 45, had entered the UK without leave to do so, and two men, aged 29 and 35, were found to be failed asylum seekers.
Deputy director Anita Bailey, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “Employers in Sunderland who use illegal labour will be caught and will face financial penalties.
“Illegal working is not victim-less. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face the consequences.
“I would urge people with specific and detailed information about suspected illegal working to contact us.”
Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties.
The site includes a right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.
People with information about suspected immigration abuse can go to www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.