Eight arrested following operations in Outer Hebrides

Bangla Spice on Church Street is one of the premises found to have illegal workers. The Stornoway Balti House, South Beach Street, was the other. SGD25890
Bangla Spice on Church Street is one of the premises found to have illegal workers. The Stornoway Balti House, South Beach Street, was the other. SGD25890

Eight illegal workers from Bangladesh have been arrested following Home Office immigration enforcement operations on the Isle of Lewis.

Acting on intelligence, and with assistance from Police Scotland, officers visited three restaurants in Stornoway at 5.45pm yesterday (Thursday 3rd October).

Individuals were questioned to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

They arrested four men at Bangla Spice and Istanbul Takeaway, Church Street, which are linked businesses.

One, aged 26, had overstayed his visa, a 33-year-old had entered the country illegally, while two, aged 23 and 24, were found to have entered the country by deception.

Officers then moved on to Balti House, South Beach, where they arrested another four men. They had all overstayed their visas and were aged between 21 and 45.

All those arrested were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country.

The businesses will be served notices warning that civil penalties of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

This is a potential total of £40,000 for each business visited.

Tonya Pentland, from the Scotland and Northern Ireland Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “Illegal working has serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

“We are happy to work with businesses in the Outer Hebrides to let them know what checks need to be made on staff.

“The message to those employers who choose to break the law is clear. You will be caught and you will pay a heavy financial penalty.

“I would urge members of the public with detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/business-sponsors/preventing-illegal-working or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

For more information and contact details for Home Office Immigration Enforcement teams in Scotland and Northern Ireland visit: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/your-region/sni-ice

And anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org