21/06/2011

Illegal Workers Held In Belfast Raids

Two illegal workers have been caught in planned raids undertaken by UK Border Agency officers in Belfast.

The enforcement operation was carried out as part of a nationwide campaign to tackle immigration crime.

Officers targeted two restaurants, The Four Seasons in Dublin Road, Belfast and China, China in University Street, Belfast last Thursday.

Following checks on employees at the restaurants two 47-year-old Chinese men were arrested for immigration offences including illegal entry to the UK and overstaying visa conditions.
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Both were detained overnight in Musgrave Street Police Station in Belfast and steps are being taken to remove them from the UK. The Four Seasons and China, China were each issued with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers.

If the employers are unable to prove they conducted the correct pre-employment checks for staff they may each be liable for a fine of up to £10,000.

Mike Golden, Assistant Director, Northern Ireland, UK Border Agency, said: "This is the latest in a series of operations we've carried out to tackle immigration crime in Northern Ireland, and more are planned.

"Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

"Businesses which operate outside the law should be warned that they will be found and they will be punished," he warned.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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