Two illegal workers attempted to avoid arrest under UK immigration laws after officials conducted a raid on a business suspected of employing people without the required leave to remain.
The two men, aged 20 and 26, were found by a Home Office immigration team operating in Ryde, Isle of Wight. The officers visited the Five Star Hand Carwash on East Street earlier this week and began to question employees on their immigration status.
The men, both from Albania, attempted to escape but were stopped by officers. The team also arrested a third Albanian man, aged 25. The third man has been transferred to immigration detention ahead of his removal from the country, while the two who attempted to run are being questioned by officers but will also face being removed from the country if they are found not to have permission to be in the country.
Meanwhile, Carla Johnson, of the South Central Home Office immigration enforcement team, explained why such a tough approach is taken to illegal workers: “Illegal working has a negative impact on communities. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“These arrests are also a stark warning to anyone who is in the UK illegally. We will catch up with you and you will face arrest, detention and removal from the country.”
She added that businesses that choose to use illegal labour should also take the incident as a warning. The carwash will be served with a warning notice and could be issued with a penalty fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker employed. Ms Johnson added: “The message to employers on the Isle of Wight who choose to use illegal labour is clear. We will catch you and you will face a heavy penalty.”