Two Chinese takeaway workers in Limavady are to be deported after they were found to have overstayed their visas, following an operation by Immigration Enforcement officers in County Londonderry.
A Home Office spokesperson said: Acting on intelligence, officers visited Uno Chinese takeaway on Anderson Avenue, Limavady, on Friday 11 March and questioned staff to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK.
“A Chinese man and woman, aged 43 and 39 respectively, were arrested after they were found to have overstayed their visas. Neither one had the right to work in the UK.
“Both have been transferred to immigration detention while steps are taken to remove them from the country.
“Uno was served with a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work. This is a potential total of £40,000.”
Mike Golden, from Immigration Enforcement in Northern Ireland said: “We are working hard to counter illegal working and 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.”
Immigration Enforcement is an operational directorate within the Home Office responsible for enforcing immigration law.
Information to help employers prevent illegal working can be found at https://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 https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.