Two Crawley businesses are facing potential penalties totalling £80,000 after four immigration offenders were found working at their premises.
In intelligence led operations, Immigration Enforcement officers visited Taj The Grocer, Haslett Avenue, and ZamZam, Broadfield Barton, on Thursday 1 February.
The businesses were each served a referral notice in relation to the illegal workers found. The notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.
If proof is not provided, this is a potential total of up to £60,000 for Taj the grocers and £20,000 for ZamZam..
Assistant Director Richard Lederle, head of the South East Immigration Enforcement Team, said:
“Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime; it cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.
“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law will be found and will be punished.”
Both businesses were visited at 5pm.
At Taj The Grocer, three men, a 27-year-old from Nepal, a 42-year-old from Pakistan, who had both overstayed their student visas, and a further 32-year-old man from Pakistan who had overstayed his visit visa were arrested.
At ZamZam a 30-year- old Pakistani man who had overstayed his visit visa was arrested.
All four are now in immigration detention pending their removal from the UK.
People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties
It includes a quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.
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