THE owners of a South Devon restaurant could face hefty fines after five men from Bangladesh were arrested for immigration offences during a Home Office operation at the business.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited the Eastern Eye Indian restaurant in Queen Street, Newton Abbot, on Friday, October 11, and carried out checks on staff.
Four of the men, aged between 23 and 29, were found to have overstayed their visas. A fifth man, 23, was found to have entered the UK illegally.
All five men were detained pending their removal from the country.
The Home Office has confirmed that the owners of Eastern Eye will be served with a civil penalty notice for employing the five illegal workers.
This means they will be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless proof is provided that the correct right to work checks were carried out, such as seeing a Home Office document or passport. This is a potential total fine of £50,000.
Last week, the Government published its Immigration Bill, which aims to crack down on illegal working and rogue employers. Measures include potentially doubling the maximum penalty for those using illegal labour to £20,000 and making it easier to enforce unpaid debts in the civil courts.
The Government is also planning to simplify the right to work checks.