UK immigration offences see business man sentenced

12 May 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The owner of a number of car washes has been sentenced for UK immigration offences.

Defrim Paci, a 32-year-old man from Albania, employed a total of six immigrants who did not have the correct UK visas or immigration documentation to be working in Britain.

The employees were discovered during an investigation by the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) Criminal and Financial Investigation (Immigration) Team, which began back in 2009.

Mr Paci admitted to owning or part owning the car washes in which the immigrants were working.

He has been sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court to 12 months, suspended for two years, along with 250 hours of community service and a 12 month supervision order after he pleaded guilty to employing illegal workers as well as money laundering profits of £144,000.

Dave Stalker, from the UKBA's North West Criminal and Financial Investigation Team, commented: "Mr Paci's conviction sends a clear message to those who think they can exploit people or disregard the law.

"The North West Criminal & Financial Investigation Team is taking the necessary action to stamp out this is type of crime and to bring those responsible to justice."

Also this month, a total of 13 UK immigration offenders were discovered working illegally in an Indian restaurant in Manchester.

The owners of Lal Qila restaurant and takeaway could face a substantial fine if they are unable to prove that they conducted the correct UK visa checks on their employees before hiring them.

Among those arrested were a 22-year-old Afghan man and a 21-year-old Pakistan man, who have since been detained and steps are being taken to remove them from the country while enquiries continue.

Eddy Montgomery, operations director for the North West branch of the UKBA, explained that the organisation is "absolutely determined" to stop businesses from ignoring the UK's immigration laws.

He added: "Any employer who takes on foreign nationals without permission to work in the UK is breaking the law, undermining law-abiding businesses and faces fines of up to £10,000 per illegal employee."