UKBA collects £400,000 from 250 firms employing illegal workers

India News Bulletin
UK Border Control
Image: Wikimedia Commons (UK government)

In 2010-11, the UK Border Agency conducted over 6,400 illegal working operations throughout the UK, resulting in 4,000 arrests. In the first quarter of 2012 alone, it issued more than 250 civil penalties and collected payments of over £400,000, according to a UKBA report.

Most recently, it fined four Aberdeenshire restaurants with a total of £28,750 in civil penalties for employing illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers.

As part of the ongoing crackdown into illegal working, the border control officials visited the takeaways and restaurants in the area.

Porto Rico's in Ladeside Road, Port Elphinstone faced fines after the UKBA officials found three Pakistani members of staff working there without right to work in the UK.

The officers also visited the Massala Garden takeaway in Brighton Place, Peterculter to find one Bangladeshi man working illegally.

Two more Pakistani men were found to be working illegally in Porto Rico's restaurant in Broad Street, Peterhead.

Lastly, the officials found four more Bangladeshi men with no right to work in the UK but employed at the Spice Cottage in South Road, Oldmeldrum.

All four businesses were issued with potential penalty notices for employing illegal workers.

They were then given an opportunity to prove that the correct right-to-work checks were made before the workers were taken on but they failed to do so, the UKBA officials have said.

A fine of £10,000 has been handed to Porto Rico's in Port Elphinstone, £5,000 to Massala Garden, £8,750 to Porto Rico's in Peterhead and £5,000 to the Spice Cottage.

“Our officers are carrying out operations throughout Aberdeenshire to target unscrupulous employers who hire illegal workers, are undercutting wages and potentially exploiting vulnerable workers,” said Rob Whiteman, chief executive, UKBA.

“The UK Border Agency is happy to work with businesses and advise what checks need to be carried out on staff, but those who do break the law should know that they will face heavy fines like these businesses,” Whiteman added.

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