Five restaurants in the Brighton and Hove areas are facing fines for employing illegal workers.
Officers from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) received intelligence regarding five different premises in the region and conducted visits to question employees last week (October 26th).
They found nine illegal workers at the different addresses, some of whom had entered the country illegally, while others had overstayed their UK visas.
At Casa Della Pizza, in Brighton, an Algerian man was arrested for having overstayed his visa. Also in Brighton, two Bangladeshi men were found working in A Brasserie Fish & Grill illegally; one was working in breach of a student visa, while the other had overstayed his visa.
Over in Hove, a Chinese man was arrested at the Lucy Star Chinese Take Away for having entered the country illegally.
A number of other workers were also arrested at businesses around the two towns, leaving a total of five restaurants facing fines and nine employees in the hands of the immigration authorities.
The individuals will be removed from the country at the earliest opportunity, but their employers' concerns could last much longer. They have all been served with a notice warning of a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. These charges could well be imposed if the companies are unable to provide proof that the correct right-to-work checks have been conducted.
Timothy Reichardt, from the UKBA commented: “Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.
“More visits like this are being planned for Sussex and whilst we're happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.”