THE OWNER of a Scarborough restaurant has been fined up to £50,000 after it emerged that he was employing illegal migrant workers.
Officers from the UK Border Agency carried out the raid at Tikka Tikka, in Castle Road, and arrested five Bangladeshi men who were working illegally.
Steps are being taken to remove two of the five men, aged 25, 29, 31, 32 and 38, from the UK. Inquiries are continuing with regard to the other three men.
Wallace Wilson, manager of the UK Border Agency Northumbria Local Immigration Team, said: “The UK Border Agency is determined to make life as tough as possible for those who attempt to dodge immigration laws.
“Businesses that choose to employ illegal workers undercut honest traders and cheat the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it.
“We are happy to work with law-abiding employers and there are a few simple checks that can be carried out to establish a person’s right to work in the UK. However, when a business fails to comply with the rules we will not hesitate to take the strongest possible action.”
Specially trained officers from the UK Border Agency swooped on Tikka Tikka on Thursday morning.
The restaurant owner was issued with five civil penalty notices of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.
The agency acted after it received intelligence indicating that illegal workers were being employed at the restaurant. Checks were then made on the immigration status of staff.
A spokesperson said the action was part of a nationwide crackdown on immigration crime.
He added: “The UK Border Agency provides a range of support to employers so they understand the rules, from compliance visits to a dedicated telephone and website support.
“However, they have a responsibility to carry out the checks before they employ migrant workers.”
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or the Northumbria Local Immigration Team on 0191 2380484.
The Evening News tried to contact Tikka Tikka about the story but there was nobody available for comment.