A man and woman from China have been arrested and detained by Home Office officials after they were found working illegally at a takeaway restaurant in Moneymore.
The 29-year-old man and 27-year-old woman were arrested when immigration officers visited Lucky Dragon Chinese takeaway on the village’s Smith Street at 5.30pm yesterday [Thursday 10 September].
The man was said to have entered the country illegally, while the woman had no right to live and work in the UK.
Both were found working in the takeaway’s kitchen, but are now in immigration detention pending their removal from the UK.
The business was served a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker arrested will 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. If proof is not provided this is a potential total of £40,000
Deputy Director Mike Golden from the Northern Ireland Home Office Immigration Enforcement Team, said: “As this operation demonstrates, we are working hard to arrest and remove those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.
“Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and deprives legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.
“There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences.
“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to contact us.”
Information for employers can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.