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22 January 2015, 06:46 | Updated: 22 January 2015, 06:48
Two men have been found illegally working in a Borehamwood restaurant.
Officers visited the Spice Garden restaurant in Shenley Road. Two immigration offenders from Bangladesh were arrested.
Home Office checks found that a 25-year-old man was working in breach of his visa conditions and a 60-year-old man had entered the UK illegally.
The Spice Garden now faces a potential penalty of up to £40,000, that is £20,000 per illegal worker. To avoid a civil penalty the owners must demonstrate that appropriate pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.
A subsequent visit to a residential address in Shenley Road identified a third immigration offender. The 43-year-old woman from the Philippines had overstayed her visa.
The woman and the 25-year-old man have been detained and the 60-year-old has been released on immigration bail while their cases are worked on. If they are found to have no right to remain in the UK they will face removal.
The restaurant was found to be broadly compliant with food safety regulations but concerns about the multiple occupancy of a tenanted property at the location are being investigated by the council.
Councillor Jean Heywood, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: "Here in Hertsmere, we are committed to ensuring that businesses in the borough are well regulated and that staff and customers are protected.
"This operation formed part of the Better Business Compliance Partnership project being led by Hertfordshire County Council. This involves local and national regulators piloting new ways of working together to target our enforcement and investigative activities even more effectively."
Chris Evans from Home Office Immigration Enforcement said: "We are working hard every day, across the country, to arrest, detain and remove immigration offenders from the UK. Employers who use illegal labour are cheating the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying legitimate job hunters work. Those who wilfully flout the rules face heavy financial penalties."