Devon

Devon restaurant workers held in border agency raids

Four restaurant staff working illegally have been arrested in raids by the UK Border Agency in Devon.

Two Chinese men were arrested in the first raid on Friday at the Dragon City takeaway in Chaddlewood, Plympton.

Agency officers then raided the Nandon Restaurant in Fore Street, Ivybridge, and arrested two Bangladeshi men.

All four were later released and must report to the agency every week until arrangements have been made to remove them from the UK.

The agency said two of the offenders had entered the UK illegally, one had remained in the country after an asylum claim was rejected and one had overstayed his visa.

'Serious impact'

The restaurant owners have been asked to provide documented evidence that pre-employment checks were carried out. If they fail to do so, they can be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker.

Chief immigration officer Richard Taylor said more raids were planned by the agency in Devon.

"Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work and undercutting law-abiding businesses," he said.

"Employers who operate outside the law should be warned that they will be found and they will be punished."

Last year the agency removed nearly 200 people from the UK who were living or working illegally in Devon and Cornwall, while business who employed illegal workers were fined a total of £434,000.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites