Five individuals have been arrested at a restaurant in Finchley for overstaying their UK visas.
Officers from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) received intelligence regarding the Sun and Sand Lounge on Hendon Lane earlier this month. They took action on the evidence and conducted a raid on the premises on 20 February, where they checked the immigration rights of the staff to ascertain their right to work in the country.
It turned out the five men, all Indian nationals aged between 25 and 60, had over-stayed their UK visas and did not have the right to be living or working in Britain. All five were arrested, but only four have been detained pending their removal from the country, while the fifth was granted immigration bail.
Mark Baker, chief immigration officer with the UKBA, commented on the events: “We are carrying out operations like this across London almost every day, and for those who are living and working in the country illegally there is no hiding place.
“We are also targeting employers who fail to carry out the correct checks on their staff. The UK Border Agency is happy to work with employers to help them make sure they know what needs to be done, but those who flout the rules could face big fines.”
The restaurant in question is looking at a fine of up to £50,000 - £10,000 for each illegal worker – over this case. It has already been hit with a civil penalty but will be required to provide evidence that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out on the workers ahead of taking them on in paid employment if it wishes to avoid a fine. These checks can be as simple as asking to see a passport of Home Office immigration document confirming an individuals status.