The owner of three Scarborough restaurants is facing a heavy fine of up to £110,000 after it emerged illegal workers were being employed.
Officers from the UK Border Agency raided Mela, in Queen Street, Eastern Paradise, in St Helen’s Square, and Indian Rose Brasserie, in Castle Road.
It is the second time illegal workers were detained at the Indian Rose Brasserie, with a swoop on the restaurant last July leading to the arrest of two Bengali men. The latest operation saw five Bangladeshis arrested at Eastern Paradise, two at Indian Rose Brasserie and an Indian and a Bangladeshi at Mela, which are all under the same ownership.
Steps are now being taken to remove them from the country.
Alison Hardie, of the UK Border Agency, said: “This was a large-scale operation carried out to tackle suspected illegal working in Scarborough.
“We carry out intelligence-led patrols in all parts of the region every day, and will continue to clamp down on employers who choose to use illegal labour.
“This operation sends a very clear message to employers –wherever you are, carry out the proper checks or expect to pay a heavy financial penalty.”
Of the nine arrested, six had overstayed the terms of their visas, while the other three are suspected of entering the country illegally. Two further Bangladeshi men who did not have permission to work in the UK were discovered working at Mela and Indian Rose Brasserie and both were given the sack.
The restaurant owner was issued with 11 civil penalty notices of up to £10,000 per illegal worker and must now show that proper checks were carried out on their workers to avoid the fine.