Illegal workers have been arrested in Earls Court after officers found that they had outstayed their UK visas while undertaking paid employment.
Officials from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) received intelligence regarding the Tendido Cero tapas bar and its neighbouring Cambio de Tercio Spanish restaurant on Old Brompton Road.
They conducted a visit and discovered two Brazilian men working at Tendido Cero in their twenties who had overstayed their UK visas. A further two men were found to have entered the country illegally, while a Mongolian man was discovered at Cambio de Tercio who had entered the country illegally.
All five of the individuals are being held in detention awaiting their removal from the country. However, the problems for their employers may have only just begun.
The fine for employing illegal workers without checking their background is up to £10,000 for each worker. This leaves the two restaurants with some substantial fees if they are unable to prove to the UKBA that the correct right-to-work checks were conducted before the men were hired.
Steve Fisher, who heads up the agency's West London operations, commented: “Our officers carry out hundreds of operations like this across London every year, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.
“But we are also looking to take action against those who employ illegal workers. We're happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who choose to break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.”