FOUR members of staff are facing deportation after a raid on a popular Wigan restaurant by immigration officers.
Members of the Home Office Immigration Enforcement swooped on the Baby Elephant Indian Restaurant, Gathurst Lane, acting on intelligence that the business was employing Bangladeshi staff with no right to work in the UK.
Two of the men, aged 28 and 60, had overstayed their visas, while the other two, aged 36 and 40, had entered the country illegally.
Three of those arrested remain in detention pending removal from the UK.
The 36-year-old has been placed on immigration bail while his case is progressed.
The business will now be served a notice warning that a civil penalty 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.
That means a maximum fine of £40,000.
Paul Airlie, head of the Manchester Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “These arrests are a clear warning to those in Wigan abusing our immigration laws. There will be no slowdown in our efforts to arrest, detain and remove people from the UK.
“Employers who use illegal labour are defrauding the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying legitimate job hunters work.
“We are happy to work with employers who want to play by the rules but those which continue to flout them will face heavy financial penalties.
“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
The team also arrested five foreign workers at Pearl Restaurant Bar and Lounge, in Audenshaw just a few days later and they currently remain in detention.
This is not the first time the Baby Elephant has been in trouble,
Restaurant boss Arash Ali, 37, from Rawtenstall, was given an 18-month conditional discharge and fined more than £7,000 after admitting three counts of allowing polluting matter and waste to enter the River Douglas, contravening an environmental permit, back in 2012.
The sewage found in the river was orange/brown in colour and contained fat, oil and food that could have posed a threat to wildlife and the local environment between March 2010 and October 2011.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.gov.uk/check-an-employees-right-to-work-documents or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.