Crowthorne restaurant faces fine of up to £40,000 for illegal workers

Published: 9 Mar 2014 12:300 comments

A restaurant could face a fine of up to £40,000 after allegedly employing workers illegally.

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The Home Office says its immigration officers found the Kabir’s Tandoori, Duke’s Ride, Crowthorne, had been employing three workers who had overstayed their visas.

Officers, acting on intelligence, visited the restaurant just before 6pm last Thursday. They arrested three Bangladeshi men, aged 24, 29 and 35, who are now set to be removed from the UK.

A fourth man was also found to be working illegally but was not arrested due to an ongoing application for indefinite leave to remain.

The fine for employing wor-kers illegally is £10,000 per person, unless there is proof the correct right to work checks were carried out.

Ejaz Kabir is managing the family business for his brother and said: “I was away when they came and someone was looking after the place for me, so I just received the letter. As far as I’m concerned we were paying everything, PAYE, national insurance.

“We have got all the paperwork we were given. I’m confident I have been doing it correctly.”

The Home Office says the restaurant received a fine of £15,000 in 2010 for having three illegal workers, which was paid in full.

Now facing a potential total fine of £40,000, Mr Kabir said: “We have to see what happens now. We can’t afford to close the shop and go.”

Paul Smith, head of the Thames Valley and Surrey Home Office immigration enforcement team, said: “Operations like this are carried out across the Thames Valley almost every day as we continue our work to track down and remove from the country those who seek to abuse the immigration laws.

“Illegal working is not victimless. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.”

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