An Indian restaurant in Alnwick is facing a financial penalty of up to £80,000 after four men were arrested during a UK immigration raid.
The men, who were all from Bangladesh, were discovered at Mivesi restaurant after UK immigration officials were tipped off that they had overstayed their UK visas. All aged between 27 and 34, the men have since been detained while steps are taken by authorities to remove them from the country.
According to an official report, the restaurant has been served with a referral notice warning that they could face a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker discovered unless they can demonstrate that the appropriate right-to-work checks were carried out before work began.
Supported by Northumberland Police, the raid on Mivesi was part of ongoing Operation Kestrel, which has seen Immigration Enforcement work alongside three police forces in the area to target foreign criminals and immigration offenders, while also searching for any potential victims of slavery.
David Harris, Immigration Enforcement assistant director, added that the operation is a great example of the work the officers do to tackle any business owners who fail to adhere to UK immigration laws.
He added: “Illegal working is not harmless – it cheats the taxpayer, negatively affects the wages of lawful workers and allows rogue employers to undercut legitimate businesses.”
Commenting on the latest search, Amina Begum, co-owner of Mivesi, stated that she felt lied to: “I have not done this through any greed. I took them on because I needed specialist workers. I also employ local people and I do the best that I can, and over the years we have supported a number of local charities, good causes and events.”