Two immigration offenders have been uncovered at a Sunderland takeaway shop as part of a Home Office raid.
Officers visited Solo Pizza, in Ethel Terrace, Castletown, at 4.40pm on Wednesday, acting on intelligence that people with no right to be in the UK were employed at the business.
As this operation demonstrates, we are working hard to arrest and remove those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.Assistant Director Phillippa Russell, from the North East & Cumbria Home Office Immigration Enforcement team
A 31 -year-old man from Afghanistan was found to be in the UK illegally.
He was arrested and is now detained pending his removal from the UK.
The man was not found working at the business at the time of the visit.
A second man, aged 31 and from Iran, was caught working without permission.
He was told to stop working but was not arrested due to an outstanding application under consideration by the Home Office.
If the application is refused he also faces removal from the country.
Solo Pizza was served a notice for employing the Iranian man, meaning they are liable for a financial penalty of up to £20,000 unless evidence is provided that legally-required pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or official Home Office document.
Assistant Director Phillippa Russell, from the North East & Cumbria Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “As this operation demonstrates, we are working hard to arrest and remove those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.
“Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime.
“It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and deprives legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.
“There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK.
“Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences.
“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to contact us.”
Information to help employers 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 can 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.