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Four men arrested as two Crawley businesses face huge fines over illegal workers

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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.

The immigration vans were seen parked up.

If proof is not provided, this is a potential total of up to £60,000 for Taj the grocers and £20,000 for ZamZam..

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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.

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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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Council have plans in place for ‘Beast from the East’

Salting operations are to continue throughout the period; snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

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Yellow warnings for snow in Crawley have been issued by the Met Office until Wednesday. Photo: MetOffice

Snowfall will be effecting most of the country over the forthcoming week and the Met Office have issued yellow weather warnings for snow as well as amber warnings for some areas.

Following these warnings, West Sussex County Council have said they have plans in place to keep main roads open.

A West Sussex Highways spokesman said:

“Precautionary salting operations will continue throughout the period and snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

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“We are therefore advising Town and Parish Councils to be prepared to enact their Winter Management Plans IF and when we issue an instruction to do so.”

A further update will be issued later today.

The County Council’s winter campaign website page has several sections giving advice on ‘staying warm’ please click here.

If you know or look after someone who may be susceptible to the effects of this cold weather period, please help ensure they stay warm and well and check in advance that they are prepared for this cold spell.

WSCC have offered some general advice including:

• Stay tuned in to weather forecasts.
• Check and maintain daytime room temperatures of 21°C.
• Check bedroom night-time temperatures and maintain it at 18°C or warmer.
• Keep warm and active and, if you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes.
• If you are concerned about your own health or welfare, or that of others, please alert the emergency services – details: emergency services.

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

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