UK immigration services make ten arrests in London

17 Mar 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK immigration officials have arrested ten people after a raid on a restaurant in Paddington discovered people working without the correct UK work permits or documentation.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) conducted the raid on Saturday, March 12th following intelligence reports on the Al Shishawi restaurant on Edgware Road.

Among the ten workers who did not have the correct UK visas work permits were six Egyptian men, a man from Mauritania, two others from Libya and Kuwait and a woman from Morocco.

Fines of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker will later be imposed on the restaurant unless it can prove to the UKBA that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

Sharon Flannery, London area director for the agency, explained that it is the legal responsibility of all businesses to check that their employees have the right to work in the UK.

She added: "Illegal working is a crime that not only undercuts local businesses but also has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work."

However, earlier this month the chairman of the think tank Migration Watch UK, Sir Andrew Green, dubbed the Civil Penalty Scheme, which imposes the illegal worker fines, "lamentable".

Sir Green said: "This scheme could be a very useful instrument in the fight against illegal immigration, helping reduce the scope for illegal workers who undercut law abiding businesses and legal workers.

"This is even more important at a time when jobs are so scarce."

His comments followed the publication of figures showing that just 20 per cent of the fines issued have been collected.