LONDON: Authorities in Britain have raided several businesses, including Indian and Chinese restaurants, across the country as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants employed by them.
Around 40 illegal immigrants a day are being arrested as enforcement squads also target restaurants, petrol stations and car washes.
In the UK, all cuisine from the Indian subcontinent is referred to as “Indian curry” and many of the restaurants guilty of employing illegal workers would include those of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin as well.
An increase in raids on premises known for employing people in the black economy has helped to bolster the number of illegal immigrants being picked up by the authorities, Daily Telegraph reported.
UK home office figures show outstanding fines of more than 1 million pounds on Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan restaurants and almost 500,000 pounds on Chinese restaurants and takeaways after illegal immigrants were discovered working there.
Among those detained by immigration enforcement teams are visitors who have overstayed their visas and migrants who have been smuggled into Britain.
The latest figures show that the number of arrests for illegal working has doubled over the past four years, rising from about 20 a day in 2010 to 40 a day last year.
Overall the number of arrests has almost doubled since 2010 to 14,338 last year, according to Home office data released under freedom of information laws.
Any business found to have employed a worker without conducting the proper pre-employment checks can be hit with a civil penalty of up to 20,000 pounds per worker.
Claire Portlock, assistant director of West Midlands home office immigration enforcement, said: “Illegal working cheats the treasury of vital funds, undercuts honest employers and often exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.
“When we receive information that employers are not playing by the rules we will take action and they could end up facing a heavy penalty.
“We rely on information from the public and I would urge people to report suspected illegal working to us.”
Statistics show that arrests fell from 7,920 in 2010 to 7,792 in 2011, then increased to 9,269 in 2012 and jumped to 15,098 in 2013.
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UK launches crackdown on illegal immigrants including Indians
Posted on April 13, 2015