ILLEGAL workers from Iraq and Iran have been caught working at a barbers in Sunderland.
Officers on a Home Office immigration enforcement operation found a 26-year-old Iraqi man they believe was working illegally at Sam’s Barbers, Eden House Road, Sunderland.
A second man, aged 23 and from Iran, was found to be a failed asylum seeker with no permission to work.
Both men were escorted from the premises and will have to report regularly to the Home Office while further investigations are carried out into their cases.
A Bangladeshi man was also caught at Komal Balti House, Brentwood Avenue, Newcastle, as part of the operation.
Sam’s Barbers and Komal Balti House were both served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless proof is provided that legally required pre-employment checks were carried out such as seeing a Home Office document or passport.
This is a total potential fine of £20,000 for Sam’s Barbers and £10,000 for Komal Balti House.
Assistant director Phillippa Russell, from the North East and Cumbria Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “These operations show we treat all allegations of illegal working extremely seriously, and those who ignore the rules will not go under our radar.
“Rogue businesses in the North East are encouraging illegal immigration and undercutting honest employers.
“It is the employer’s responsibility to check their staff have permission to work in the UK and we are happy to work with those who play by the rules.
“Those who choose not to carry out these checks can expect enforcement visits and financial penalties.”
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 https://www.gov.uk/check-an-employees-right-to-work-documents or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.