UK immigration officers have threatened six businesses in Wales with fines of up to £140,000 after they discovered a number of illegal immigrants working at the premises during recent raids.
In recent operations, UK Immigration Enforcement Officers (IEOs) visited six businesses located across a number of towns in Wales, each of which was served a notice warning that they could face a fine of up to £20,000 for each person found working illegally within their business.
The IEOs warned the companies that they would be required to provide proof that the correct document checks were carried out prior to their employment at the business, which includes the viewing of a passport or a document from the Home Office that stated that they had permission to work in the country.
Should no proof be provided, one of the businesses will be fined £40,000 for employing two illegal immigrants, while the other five companies will each be fined £20,000 for failing to demonstrate that a single employee is working legally.
Commenting on the raids, Richard Johnson of Immigration Enforcement in Wales stated that this form of illegal working is having a significant impact on the number of employment opportunities for those working legitimately, as well as on the employers who go through the proper channels before employing their staff.
“We are happy to work with businesses to explain the simple pre-employment checks needed to establish a person’s right to work in the UK,” he said, “but to those who choose to ignore the rules the message is clear - we will find you and you will face a heavy financial penalty.”