AN INDIAN restaurant is facing a heavy fine after four illegal workers from Bangladesh were arrested following a raid by immigration officers.
Acting on intelligence, Home Office immigration enforcement officers visited the Merston branch of India Gate, on the A259 Bognor Road, at 7.30pm yesterday (May 23).
Individuals were questioned to check if they had the right to be in the UK.
Some of the staff tried to escape from the restaurant but were prevented from doing so by the enforcement officers.
Two, aged 24 and 26, had overstayed their visas while the other two, aged 55 and 57, had entered the country illegally.
All four are in immigration detention pending removal from the UK.
The business was served a notice warning the employers that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a potential fine of £40,000.
Carla Johnson, from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team in Sussex, said: “These arrests show that there is no hiding place for immigration offenders. The message is clear. Those who are in the country illegally will be arrested and removed.
“Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.
“While we are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.
“I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
The company also has a restaurant in Chichester city centre and Arundel.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.