MORE businesses in Scarborough could be raided by the UK Border Agency in a crackdown on illegal workers.
In the last two weeks, two Indian restaurants and a takeaway have been visited by officers, with a total of eight illegal workers being arrested and fines of up to £80,000 being handed to business owners.
Wallace Wilson, manager of the UK Border Agency Local Immigration Team, said that while Scarborough had not been specifically targeted, the seasonal economy meant that the town may be more likely to see an influx of illegal workers.
“I think there is a temptation for employers to take on illegal workers during the holiday season,” Mr Wilson said. “There is significant additional demand and they need short term workers.
“Our message to employers who do employ illegal workers is that we will find out about them. They can expect a visit from us and a significant penalty.”
Five illegal Bangladeshi workers were arrested in Tikka Tikka in Castle Road on July 21.
Border Agency officers then visited the Indian Rose Brasserie in Castle Road and the Samanta takeaway in St Thomas Street on Thursday last week.
Two Bengali men, a kitchen worker and a waiter, were arrested in the Indian Rose Brasserie, while one worker in Samanta, who was also of Bengali origin, was taken into custody.
Mr Wilson said the raids were part of an ongoing operation and that Scarborough may not have seen the last of UK Border Agency officers this summer.
“We don’t think Scarborough has a specific problem, but I can say we are looking throughout the North East and North Yorkshire,” he added. “These employers are defrauding the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it.
“They are also undercutting other businesses that trade honestly. We will not tolerate illegal working.”
He added: “Often we find these employees working in terrible conditions and often they are being exploited.
“In some cases they are relieved when we turn up. The workers are trapped a lot of the time. Their options are limited.”
The raids in Scarborough have come as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal workers.