Two immigration offenders from India were found during a Home Office immigration enforcement operation in Chester.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited Javed Indian Restaurant, Lower Bridge Street, last night (Wednesday August 26). Staff were questioned to check they had the right to live and work in the UK.
The pair, a woman aged 42 and a 17-year-old girl, were found to have overstayed their visas. They must both now report to the Home Office regularly while steps are taken to remove them from the UK.
Javed Indian Restaurant was served a notice for employing the illegal workers, meaning they are liable for a financial penalty of up to £40,000 unless evidence is provided that legally-required pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or an official Home Office document.
The operation comes after a new package of measures to crack down further on illegal working was unveiled by the government.
Due to be introduced this autumn, the Immigration Bill will include new powers to deter people from trying to find work illegally and measures to deal more effectively with businesses who flout the rules.
A new criminal offence of working illegally will mean illegal migrants face a prison sentence of up to six months and could have their wages seized as proceeds of crime.
Late night takeaways, pubs and off-licences will also be required to comply with immigration laws or face being stripped of their licences.
Immigration minister James Brokenshire said: “Anyone who thinks the UK is a soft touch should be in no doubt – if you are here illegally, we will take action to stop you from working, renting a flat, opening a bank account or driving a car.
“As a one nation government we will continue to crack down on abuse and build an immigration system that works in the best interests of the British people and those who play by the rules.
“Through our new Immigration Bill, illegal workers will face the prospect of a prison term and rogue employers could have their businesses closed, have their licences removed, or face prosecution if they continue to flout the law.”
Information to help employers prevent illegal working can be found on the Government website.
It includes a quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone can work in the UK.
Click here if you have information about suspected immigration abuse or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.