Curry house raided as immigration crackdown continues

Police at Tikka Tikka Restaurant. 134718
Police at Tikka Tikka Restaurant. 134718

The ongoing immigration crackdown on Scarborough restaurants has resulted in a further two arrests, with a curry house owner facing a £20,000 fine for employing illegal staff,

Scarborough police and Home Office detectives swooped on Tikka Tikka on Tuesday evening, in a joint raid.

Stunned diners watched as police grilled staff, before two illegal workers were hauled away by police.

The Bangladeshi duo arrested and are now detained pending their removal from the UK.

The Home Office says this latest raid, the second in a matter of months, sends out a clear message than anybody breaking the law will be caught and punished.

Checks were carried out on the immigration status of staff, before a 26-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were found to have overstayed their visas.

Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers, assisted by North Yorkshire Police, carried out an intelligence-led visit to the popular restaurant, with Scarborough officers circling the perimeter as detectives worked inside.

As a result of the raid, the management at Tikka Tikka has been served with a civil penalty notice for employing the two illegal workers.

This means they could be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless evidence is provided that legal pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or a Home Office document.

Anita Bailey, of Yorkshire’s Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “Employers who take on illegal workers are both fuelling illegal immigration and undercutting businesses which play by the rules.

“The message to Scarborough employers who choose to use illegal labour is clear. We will catch you and you could face a heavy penalty.”

The raid on Tikka Tikka comes after three curry houses were raided in a border blitz last month. The owner and staff at Indian Rose were arrested, and a member of staff was taken away at Eastern Paradise.

Intelligence also led police to Royal Tandoori, although all staff at the restaurant were found to be employed legally.

A Scarborough News probe, only weeks before the October raids, found that over £10,000 was still owed to the public purse from heavy fines imposed on restaurants caught out in previous border raids.

In total, £122,500 was owed at the time of the article, and following the latest immigration crackdown in the town, the current figure is now likely to be much higher.

The Government has recently announced that fines will be upped for rogue businesses, as it looks to toughen up on illegal workers.

The heavier fines are part of new legislation, which Immigration Minister Mark Harper hopes will make it easier to enforce payment, while also making it easier for legitimate businesses to verify individuals’ right to work.