Bexhill takeaway could face £60,000 fine for employing ‘illegal’ workers

Home Office
Home Office

A Bexhill business could face a potential penalty of up to £60,000 after three people believed to be immigration offenders were found working at its premises, the Home Office has said.

In an intelligence-led operation, Immigration Enforcement officers visited Hong Kong House, on Sea Road, on Thursday, February 16.

The business was served a referral notice in relation to illegal workers. The Home Office says the notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found could be imposed, unless the employers can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.

Richard Lederle, from Immigration Enforcement in East Sussex, said: “Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties.

“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law will be found and will be punished.”

Hong Kong House was visited at 5.15pm. Immigration checks identified a 36-year-old Malaysian woman who had overstayed her visit visa and a 33-year-old Chinese man who was a failed asylum seeker, the Home Office said. Both have been detained pending their removal from the UK.

A 36-year-old Chinese man who has an outstanding immigration application which does not entitle him to work was escorted from the premises. He must now report regularly to Immigration Enforcement while his case is progressed.

The business closed for the night as all the staff had been removed from the premises.

People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties.

It includes a quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.

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