Welsh restaurants 'hired people without checking UK work permits'

18 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Two businesses in Wales have been found to have employed people from abroad without the correct UK work permits.

UK immigration officers from the UKBA conducted a raid on Clydach Fish Bar earlier this month (January 12th) after receiving intelligence concerning illegal workers.

The man working behind the counter, who attempted to flee when officers entered the building, was found to be a 42-year-old Indian national who had entered the country illegally without a UK work permit.

He has since been placed on immigration bail and must report to a police station weekly until arrangements are made to remove him from the country.

However, Julian Smith, head of the local immigration team for south west Wales UKBA, reminded the firms involved that they too face significant punishments.

"Employers of illegal immigrants can be hit with big fines – up to £10,000 per person," said Mr Smith.

These fines can be imposed if the business is found to have not conducted the correct right-to-work checks, such as asking for a UK work permit or a passport.

"Through operations like this we are sending a simple message to employers of illegal workers in south Wales: More raids are planned and you will be caught," the immigration officer added.

The discovery at the fish bar comes as two other people from overseas were discovered working in Gorseinon Packed Meals.

Two Chinese men, aged 39 and 46, were arrested after they were found to be working in the company's kitchens without the correct UK visas.

Immigration minister Damian Green reminded potential immigrants of previous enforcement campaigns conducted by the UKBA to crack down on immigration and urged those in need of a UK visa not to abuse the system.