Sunderland off-licence faces £20,000 fine over illegal Indian worker

Sunderland Wine and Convenience Store, near The Wavedon off Chester Road.
Sunderland Wine and Convenience Store, near The Wavedon off Chester Road.
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IMMIGRATION enforcement officers have arrested a man working at a Sunderland shop after he was found to have overstayed his visa.

Home Office staff visited Sunderland Wine and Convenience Store, in Melbourne Place, off Chester Road on Thursday, acting on intelligence that people with no right to be in the UK were employed at the business.

Workers were questioned about their immigration status and a 30-year-old Indian man was found to have overstayed his time in the country.

He was arrested and has since been detained pending his removal from the UK.

Sunderland Wine and Convenience Store was served a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 could be imposed for employing the illegal worker unless proof is provided that legally required right to work checks were carried out, such as seeing a Home Office document or passport.

Deputy director Anita Bailey, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “There will be no slowdown in our efforts to arrest, detain and remove people with no right to be in the UK.

“Employers who use illegal labour are defrauding the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying work to legitimate job-hunters.”

“We are happy to work with employers who want to play by the rules but those who break the law will face the consequences.

“I would urge people with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to contact us.”

The enforcement team has carried out a number of raids in recent weeks on Wearside businesses.

The Echo reported last week how King’s Flavour, in Park Lane, was found to be employing an Indian man who had also overstayed his visa.

Three illegal immigrants from China were discovered at Great Wall Chinese Takeaway, in Southwick, last month.

Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at /www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties.

It includes a new quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.