Raid on takeaway premises

Immigration officials have swooped on a Port Elphinstone takeway business for the second time in less than three months.

Two men were allegedly caught working illegally at Porto Rico’s in Ladeside Road last Tuesday (November 8). The UK Border Agency confirmed that the premises were targeted by officers acting on an intelligence tip-off.

After the immigration status of the staff was checked, officers found two Pakistani men working without proper documents

It followed a similar operation at the premises on August 19 when three Pakistani men were found to be illegal workers.

Porto Ricos could face a fine of up to £30,000 in connection with that incident. The premises have been served with a civil penalty notice with regard to the present case. If bosses are unable to provide evidence that legally-required checks were carried out before the workers were taken on, a fine of up to £20,000 could be imposed.

Uk Border Agency in Scotland assistant director, Adam Scarcliffe, said: “The UK Border Agency is working constantly to stamp down on people who are in the country illegally and the businesses which employ them.

“Employing illegal workers undercuts honest businesses and defrauds the public purse. There is no excuse for using illegal labour, and if people ignore our immigration laws, we will fine them and remove them from the country.”

Specially-trained immigration officers carry out enforcement operations and arrests at businesses and private addressed, acting on intelligence received from the public and othere sources. A civil penalty system for employers was introduced in February, 2008.

Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on thousands of companies which have failed to carry out legally-required checks on their staff.

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/advice-for-employers or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can report this on the UK Border Agency website http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/report-crime/ or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.