A restaurant in Brora is facing a substantial fine for employing three workers illegally.
The Spice restaurant on Rosslyn Street was visited by UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers on January 30th after intelligence had been received regarding the UK immigration status of some of the business's workers.
Upon investigation, three Bangladeshi men were found to be working illegally. They have since been arrested and decisions will be made regarding their future right to remain in the country.
Spice restaurant, meanwhile, has been issued with a civil penalty notice for employing the individuals and if the company cannot prove that it checked the employees passports or other immigration documentation as is required by law, it could issued with a fine. The maximum fine that can be imposed for employing an illegal worker stands at £10,000, so Spice could be looking at a bill of up to £30,000.
Adam Scarcliffe, assistant director of the UKBA in Scotland, commented: "Offenders should know that there is no hiding place and that where we find people who are in the UK illegally they will be arrested and removed. We are targeting employers who take on illegal workers and who encourage illegal immigration in the process."
He added that the agency is happy to work with businesses to educate them of the legal requirements when hiring overseas workers. "But those who choose to break the law should know that they will face heavy fines," he warned.
The news comes shortly after two men were arrested for working illegally in a takeaway in Ashford. Super Pizza in New Street is facing similar fines as the Brora restaurant for taking on workers from Afghanistan and Pakistan, one of whom had entered the country illegally, while the other had failed to leave when his UK visa expired.