Belfast restaurant facing UK immigration fine

24 May 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A restaurant in Belfast could face a fine if it is found to have violated UK immigration laws.
The Bengal Brasserie Restaurant on Ormeau Road was the target of a raid by UK immigration officers last week (Thursday, May 19th).
Acting on intelligence, the team questioned staff to ensure they had the correct UK work permits or visas to work in the country.
During the investigation, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man was detained as he attempted to leave the premises when the officers arrived.
It is thought that he was working without the correct UK visa and the man in question will now have to report regularly to the UK Border Agency in Belfast until he can be removed from the country.
If the restaurant is found not to have conducted the legally-required UK visa checks before they hired the man, it could fact a fine of up to £10,000.
The checks are simple and tend to require employers to ask to see a passport or a Home Office document before they employ somebody.
However, this is the second time the Bengal Brasserie has been accused of employing overseas workers illegally.
Officers visited the premises and removed an employee back in 2008 who was later discovered to have no permission to work in the UK.
Commenting on the issue, assistant director of the UKBA in Scotland and Northern Ireland Mike Golden, said: "We will not tolerate illegal working which threatens to damage our communities - it undercuts wages and exploits vulnerable workers.
"The UK Border Agency will act on intelligence to target those businesses which ignore the rules and remove those with no right to be in the UK."
He added that operation is part of an ongoing attempt to clamp down on illegal working and "reduce the attractiveness of the UK to illegal immigrants".