TWO Knaphill businesses face potential penalties totalling £30,000 for employing illegal workers following a Home Office raid on Thursday evening.
Immigration enforcement officers made three arrests at Milano Pizza and Canton Chinese takeaways, both on Anchor Crescent, at about 7.45pm.
Acting on intelligence that both businesses were employing staff with no right to work in the UK, officers arrested two men at Milano.
A 26-year-old Indian national was found to be working in breach of his visa conditions, while a 30-year-old Pakistani was found to have overstayed his time allowance.
A 23-year-old Chinese man who had entered the country illegally was found working next door at Canton.
Those arrested were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from UK. The Chinese man was placed on immigration bail and will also face deportation if found to have no right to remain.
The businesses were served notices warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks had been carried out.
This is a potential total of up to £20,000 for Milano and £10,000 for Canton.
Head of the Thames Valley & Surrey Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, Paul Smith, said: “These arrests are a clear warning to those in Surrey abusing our immigration laws. There will be no slow down in our efforts to arrest, detain and remove them 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 who 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 with us immediately.”
Anyone who has any information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Businesses unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit the same site or call the Employers’ Helpline on 0300 123 4699.