A business in Kent is facing extensive fines following the arrest of two of its employees who were found to be working without the required UK work permits.
Home Office investigators visited Pimmy's Pizza, on Borough Green High Street, Kent, after receiving intelligence about the employees on site. They questioned the workers and found two men who were working in breach of UK immigration regulations.
The first, a 22-year-old man from Afghanistan was found to be a failed asylum seeker, while the second was a 32-year-old Pakistani man working in breach of his UK visa conditions.
Both workers have now been transferred to an immigration detention centre ahead of their removal from the country. The business, meanwhile, could be hit with a fine of up to £20,000 - £10,000 for each worker – unless it can prove that it carried out the correct right-to-work checks before taking on the individuals.
Louise Whiteoak, head of the west London Immigration Enforcement team with the Home Office, commented on the case: “Our enforcement teams carry out operations like this almost every day in Kent and we have no intention of slowing down.
“These arrests are a stark warning to anyone who is in the UK illegally. We will catch up with and you will face arrest, detention and removal from the country.”
The arrests come shortly after the Home Office announced a new pilot scheme to target illegal immigrants. The plan involvers driving a van displaying a large advert advising migrants with no legal right to be here to leave the country voluntarily.
The scheme is being trialled in Hounslow, Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Ealing, Redbridge and Brent, where vans will display how many illegal immigrants have been arrested in the area.
Criticism has already been levelled at the scheme, amid claims that it will lead to community problems for legitimate migrants and others. However, the government maintains that it provides a cheaper option to forcing illegal immigrants to leave the country.