Northern Ireland

Two workers in Newtownards kebab shop were 'illegal'

Two illegal immigrants have been arrested after they were found working in takeaway food restaurant in Newtownards, County Down.

Officers from the UK Border Agency found the two men working illegally in the Lahore Kebab House in South Street at 1700 BST on Wednesday after carrying out checks.

The men are being detained at Bangor police station.

Arrangements are being made to remove them from the UK.

When officers went to the premises they questioned staff working in the restaurant to ensure they had the right to work in the UK.

After the immigration status of staff was checked, a 35-year-old Pakistani man was discovered to be an illegal entrant and a 40-year-old Algerian man was found working illegally in breach of his visa conditions at the business.

The Lahore Kebab House 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 giving them a job - such as asking for a passport or a Home Office document - a fine of up to £20,000 will be imposed.

Mike Golden, assistant director of the UK Border Agency in Northern Ireland, said: "Where there are skills shortages people can apply to come here legitimately.

"If people ignore our immigration laws, we will find them and remove them from the country.

"Any employer who takes on foreign nationals without permission to work in the UK is breaking the law, undermining law-abiding businesses and faces fines of up to £10,000 per illegal employee."

The enforcement operation follows a nationwide summer campaign to tackle illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime.

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit UK Border Agency employers and education providers or they can call the UK Border Agency's employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.

The enforcement operation follows a nationwide summer campaign to tackle illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime.

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