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Employers: Six Immigration offenders detained in Cheshire

01 March 2013

Six people have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences following a series of UK Border Agency operations across Cheshire on 27 February.

Acting on intelligence, officers from the UK Border Agency targeted two businesses and carried out checks on staff to see if they were legally entitled to work in the UK.

The officers visited Hartwells Garage, Chester Road in Cheshire and arrested two Ghanaian men who were in the country illegally. One of the men, a 45-year-old was found to have entered the UK illegally while... the other, a 43-year-old, was found to have overstayed his visa. Both men were employed through Falcon Car Care who co-operated fully with the UK Border Agency during their enquiries.

Officers also visited Agra Fort Restaurant, Cambridge Road in Ellesmere Port in a joint operation with Cheshire police. There they discovered four Bangladeshi men aged between 31 and 33. None had the right to be in the UK, having either having overstayed their visa or entered the UK illegally. All four men were arrested..

All six men currently remain in detention pending their removal from the UK.

The Agra Fort was served with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers. If the employer is unable to provide evidence that legally required checks were carried out before employing the workers (such as asking for a passport or a Home Office document) a penalty of up to £10,000 will be imposed.

Alison Wray, head of enforcement for the UK Border Agency in the North West, said:

'We will continue to track down those who have no right to be living or working in the UK. This was a successful operation unearthing six immigration offenders. The message is clear; if you are here illegally we will find you, we will catch you and we will remove you from the UK.

'The UK Border Agency is targeting unscrupulous employers who hire illegal workers thereby undercutting wages and potentially exploiting vulnerable workers.

'We are happy to work with businesses and advise what checks need to be carried out on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face heavy fines.'

Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies which fail to carry out proper right-to-work checks on staff. Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit our Preventing illegal working pages, or they can call the agency's employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Anyone with information about immigration offenders can report crime on this website, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.