A Chinese national has been detained following a visit by immigration enforcement officers to a Ponteland takeaway.
The officers went to various locations last Friday evening as part of the on-going Operation Kestrel that sees Immigration Enforcement working with the North East’s three police forces to target offenders.
At about 10pm, they visited the Merton Way Chinese Takeaway in Ponteland. A 31-year-old man, who was found to have overstayed his visa, was ordered to report regularly to Immigration Enforcement while his case is progressed.
There was no evidence that the individual arrested at Merton Way was working and so the business was not issued with an illegal working financial penalty.
Earlier in the day, officers visited the Mivesi Indian restaurant in Alnwick. After carrying out checks, they arrested four men from Bangladesh – aged 27, 28, 32 and 34 – who had all overstayed their visas.
All four have been detained while steps are taken to remove them from the UK and the restaurant will be fined unless it can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out.
This is a potential financial penalty of £80,000.
David Harris, Immigration Enforcement assistant director, said: “This operation is an excellent example of the work my officers do to tackle those who flout immigration laws, either by employing those with no right to work or remaining in the UK when they have no permission to do so.
“All of our operations are intelligence-led and I would encourage people with detailed and specific information about illegal immigration to contact us.”
Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties
This includes a new quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.
People with information about suspected immigration abuse can go to www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.