An Asian snack food supplier in Chadwell Heath, north east London is facing a £40,000 fine after four men were arrested on suspicion of working illegally in Britain during a raid by the UK Border Agency.
Agency officers, acting on intelligence, raided Best Food Manufacturers, Freshwater Road, Chadwell Heath on Wednesday November 7. Four Indian men, aged between 21 and 50, were arrested.
Three of the workers – aged 22, 40 and 50 – were found to have over-stayed their visas while a 21-year-old was found to have entered Britain illegally.
‘Over-stayed his visa’
In a separate raid on Friday, November 9, Border Agency officials arrested a 32-year-old Brazilian man at Wahaca Mexican restaurant on Canada Square, Canary Wharf, who had over-stayed his visa.
The Indian workers – aged 40 and 50 – and the Brazilian are being held in immigration detention, while plans are made to deport them from Britain.
The other two workers have been granted immigration bail. They have been required to report regularly to the UK Border Agency while it investigates their cases.
Both Best Food Manufacturers and the restaurant were served a notice warning of a fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker found unless the agency received proof that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.
‘We will seek to remove them’
Steve Fisher, UK Border Agency, said: “We regularly carry out operations like this in London, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.
“Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.”
Fisher added that more visits like this are being planned for London. “While we’re happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines,” he said.
Employers were advised to seek advice on employment checks from the agency.
Best Food Manufacturers was established in 1994. No one from the firm was available to answer questions from FoodManufacture.co.uk.
Meanwhile, earlier this month Tesco faced a £115,000 fine for illegally employing foreign students at its Tesco.com warehouse in Croydon, South London.
Last month north London food manufacturer Delphi Food Products faced a £120,000 fine, after a raid from the UK Border Agency in which 12 people were arrested for immigration offences .