TWO immigration offenders have been caught during a Home Office operation in Sunderland.
Acting on intelligence, immigration enforcement officers visited Golden Chippy, Beaumont Street, Southwick, Sunderland, last night.
A 21-year-old Indian man was found to have overstayed his visa. He was arrested and is now detained pending his removal from the country.
Officers also found a 27-year-old Indian man at the takeaway with no permission to work in the UK.
He was told to leave the premises and will have to report regularly to the Home Office while an outstanding application is considered. If the application is refused he also faces removal from the country.
Golden Chippy is not facing a fine of up to £20,000.
The penalty – £10,000 per offender – 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.
Home Office officials also visited Yankees on Ocean Road in South Shields, where a 24-year-old Afghan man was found to be a failed asylum seeker.
He was arrested and is now detained pending his removal from the country.
Yankees was not served a civil penalty notice as the man had permission to work at the time the employer had carried out pre-employment checks.
Assistant Director Phillippa Russell, from the North East and Cumbria Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “Businesses in the North East which follow the rules have nothing to fear, but those who employ people with no right to work should expect heavy financial penalties.
“Illegal working has a negative impact on communities. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“I would urge members of the public with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
The Home Office said it provides support to employers so they can understand the rules, including visits by staff, a dedicated telephone helpline and website.
Ms Russell said employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/business-sponsors/preventing-illegal-working/ or
call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business or someone is living in the UK illegally can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.