UK immigration issues see builders merchant faced with fine

11 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A builders merchant is facing a substantial fine following a number of UK immigration problems with its workers.

Officers from the UK Border Agency visited Western Timber and Builders Merchant in Southall earlier this month (4 August) and questioned staff regarding their right to be working. The investigating team was acting on intelligence, which later proved to be accurate.

Three employees were arrested for working illegally. All three of the men were Indian nationals, two of whom were failed asylum seekers, while a third was found to have entered the country illegally. A customer on the site was also arrested on the site for UK immigration offences.

The company now faces substantial fines if it is unable to prove that it conducted the necessary right-to-work checks on the staff before employing them. These fines can reach up to £10,000 for each worker.

Salma Raja, head of the UK Border Agency's Ealing local immigration team, commented: “Those who employ illegal workers are not only breaking the law, they're also taking jobs from those who do have the right to work and undercutting Southall's legitimate businesses and traders.

“We're happy to work with firms to help them understand what checks they need to do, but those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them, and they will be caught.”

Three of the four men arrested are still in detention awaiting their removal from this country, while the fourth has been granted UK immigration bail as his case is dealt with.