1. ITV Report

Cumbrian businesses face heavy fines

Home office immigration enforcement Photo: Home office

Businesses from Carlisle, Cockermouth, Keswick and Workington are all facing heavy fines for employing illegal workers.

Home Officer Immigration officers visited a number of businesses last week and individuals were questions to see if they had the right to work in the UK.

  • Four Bangladeshi men were arrested at Indian restaurant Rahi at the Waterloo in Aglionby, Carlisle.

Two of the men, aged 22 and 29, were working in breach of their visa conditions, a 33-year-old had overstayed his visa and a 57-year-old had entered the country illegally.

Three of the men tried to escape through the back door but were stopped by enforcement officers.

Rahi at the Waterloo Credit: Home Office
  • Two men from Iraq who didn't have permission to work were found at Carlisle Hand Car Wash on King Street.

One of the men, aged 23, was a failed asylum seeker, while the other, aged 24, had overstayed his visa.

  • A 31-year-old man from Bangladesh, who didn't have permission to work, was found at Paprika Indian Restaurant in Workington.
Immigration officers inside Fiza Spice Credit: Home Office
  • Officers also arrested two Bangladeshi men at Fiza Spice in Cockermouth. The men, aged 29 and 30, had overstayed their visas.
Home office immigration outside of the Royal Bengal Credit: Home office
  • Another two Bangladeshi men, aged 23 and 43, were arrested at Royal Bengal in Keswick, as they had overstayed their visas.
  • A 39-year-old Canadian woman was arrested at a house on South Watt Street, Workington, for overstaying her visa.

The two Iraqis found at Carlisle Hand Car Wash, the man found at Paprika and the 29-year-old arrested at Fiza have all been placed on immigration bail while their cases are progressed.

They will be faced to leave the country if they are found to have no leave to remain.

The others are in immigration detention pending removal from the country.

The businesses were served notices warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

Potential fines include:

  • £40,000 for Rahi
  • £20,000 each for Carlisle Hand Wash, Fiza and Royal Bengal
  • £10,000 for Paprika

“Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

“We are happy to work with businesses in Cumbria to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face financial penalties.

“These arrests are also a stark warning to anyone who is in the UK illegally.

"We will catch up with you and you will face arrest, detention and removal from the country.

“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration offending to get in touch.”

– Wallace Wilson, from the Home Office North East and Cumbria Immigration Enforcement team