Officers swoop on immigrations offenders in Co Down

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Three immigration offenders have been caught following an operation by Immigration Enforcement officers in Co Down.

In the operation on Saturday, November 26, officers visited Taste of Nasema, Main Street, Ballynahinch and questioned staff to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK.

Three Indian nationals were found working illegally. A 27-year-old woman who has an outstanding immigration application and a 31-year-old man who is a failed asylum seeker were both escorted from the premises.

They will now have to report regularly to immigration enforcement while their claims are progressed.

A 37-year-old man who had overstayed his visit visa was arrested and detained pending his removal from the UK.

Taste of Nasema was served a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless the employer 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. This a potential total of up to £60,000

Mike Golden, from Immigration Enforcement in Northern Ireland, said: “We are working hard to tackle illegal working and those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.

“Illegal working is not a victimless crime. It cheats the taxpayer, meaning less money is available for vital public services, undercuts honest employers and denies legitimate job seekers employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.

“We expect everyone here illegally to leave the UK voluntarily. For those who don’t the message is clear - we will find, detain and remove you.”

People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.