Two Chinese nationals were detained following a visit by immigration enforcement officers to a Blyth restaurant.
The officers went to various locations last Friday evening as part of the on-going Operation Kestrel that sees Immigration Enforcement working with the North East’s three police forces to target offenders.
At about 11pm, they visited China Cook on Waterloo Road, Blyth. A man aged 48 and a woman aged 32 were arrested.
The woman had overstayed her visa and the man had entered the UK illegally. Both are detained pending their removal from the UK.
Officers went to the Merton Way Chinese Takeaway in Ponteland at about 10pm. A 31-year-old Chinese man, who was found to have overstayed his visa, was ordered to report regularly to Immigration Enforcement while his case is progressed.
There was no evidence that the individuals arrested at China Cook or Merton Way were working and so neither business was issued with an illegal working financial penalty.
The Mivesi Indian restaurant in Alnwick was also visited by officers.
After carrying out checks, they arrested four men from Bangladesh – aged 27, 28, 32 and 34 – who had all overstayed their visas.
All four have been detained while steps are taken to remove them from the UK.
The restaurant has been served a referral notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out.
David Harris, Immigration Enforcement assistant director, said: “This operation is an excellent example of the work my officers do to tackle those who flout immigration laws, either by employing those with no right to work or remaining in the UK when they have no permission to do so.
“All of our operations are intelligence-led and I would encourage people with detailed and specific information about illegal immigration to contact us.”
Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties
This includes a new quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.
People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.