THE normally quiet village of St Johns was the scene of an immigration raid last week.
Acting on intelligence, enforcement officers from Home Office Immigration visited The Village Indian takeaway at 7.15pm last Thursday (January 22), and questioned staff to establish whether they have the right to live and work in the UK.
As a result, they arrested two Bangladeshi workers. The first, a 31-year-old man, was in breach of his visa conditions, while the other, a 47-year-old male, was found to have expired paperwork.
The younger man was transferred to immigration detention, pending his removal from the UK, while the other has been ordered to report to the Home Office regularly while steps are taken to deport him.
The business was served a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 will be imposed for employing the illegal workers unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks, such as seeing passports or the relevant Home Office documents, were carried out. The potential total penalty to the restaurant stands at £40,000.
Head of the Thames Valley and Surrey Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, Paul Smith, said: “Employers in Surrey who use illegal workers will be caught and could face financial penalties.
“Illegal working defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers, and cheats legitimate jobseekers out of employment opportunities.
“We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they face the consequences.
“I would urge people with specific and detailed information about suspected illegal working to contact us.”