THREE illegal immigrants from China have been caught at a Sunderland takeaway following a raid by Home Office staff.
Officers from the immigration enforcement team visited Great Wall Chinese Takeaway in Southwick, after finding out that people with no right to be in the UK were working at the business.
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.
They have all been released on immigration bail while their cases are progressed and will have to report regularly to the Home Office during this time.
Great Wall Chinese Takeaway has been served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker arrested will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out, such as seeing a Home Office document or passport.
Assistant director Phillippa Russell, from the North East and Cumbria Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “These arrests are a clear warning to those in Sunderland abusing our immigration laws. “There will be no slowdown in our efforts to arrest, detain and remove you from the UK.
“Employers who use illegal labour are defrauding the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying legitimate job hunters work.
“We are happy to work with employers who want to play by the rules but those which continue to flout them will face heavy financial penalties.
“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
Details of the new illegal working measures can be found by visiting www.gov.uk/government/news/tougher-penalties-to-combat-illegal-working
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.