Eastbourne restaurant raided in search for illegal workers

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Immigration Enforcement officers have raided an Eastbourne takeaway as part of an operation to find illegal workers.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited four Yummie Pizza takeaways across Sussex, including the business on Cavendish Place, on Tuesday (March 28).

A 35-year-old Indian man and failed asylum seeker was found and escorted from the premises, according to the Home Office.

He must now report regularly to Immigration Enforcement while his case is dealt with.

The Home Office said all four takeaways were served with civil penalty referral notices in relation to illegal workers. The Eastbourne, Hove and Brighton branches for one individual each and the Peacehaven branch for two employees.

The notices warn that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found could 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.

If proof is not provided, the premises in Eastbourne, Hove and Brighton each face a potential penalty of up to £20,000 while Yummie Pizza in Peacehaven faces a potential penalty of up to £40,000, said the Home Office.

Assistant director Richard Lederle, head of the South East Immigration Enforcement team, said, “Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties.

“We are happy to work with businesses in Sussex 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.

“Using illegal labour is not victimless. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest businesses and cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.

“All of our operations are intelligence-led and I would encourage people with detailed and specific information about illegal immigration to contact us.”

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact 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 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.