Immigration police storm Highgate Indian restaurant to arrest suspected illegal worker
PUBLISHED: 19:04 20 November 2015 | UPDATED: 19:27 20 November 2015
Diners watched on in shock as immigration police swooped on an Indian restaurant in Highgate last night to arrest a man on suspicion of working there illegally.
A 22-year-old from Bangladesh was taken into custody following the 8pm raid at Kiplings Indian Restaurant in North Hill.
His student visa is alleged to have expired.
Dan Nolan, 45, was eating in the restaurant when police stormed in.
The Archway Road resident, who DJs at The Woodman pub in Archway Road, said: “Four police officers came bouncing through and went straight to the kitchen. The manager looked pretty stressed.”
He added: “It was totally over the top, whatever they were doing.
“There was a police van parked outside with ‘immigration’ on it and they had it on the backs of their uniforms as well.
“People were just sitting and eating, quite shocked at what was going on.”
The 22-year-old was transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the UK.
The restaurant was served with a notice warning that it will be fined up to £20,000 unless it can demonstrate it carried out the appropriate right-to-work document checks.
Kiplings denies employing the man, with a spokesman claiming that he was there for a family party.
The restaurant was among several businesses across the capital stormed by immigration officers yesterday and today following allegations of illegal working as part of a Home Office crackdown on the employment of illegal migrants.
David Seymour-Smith, head of the north London Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “There will be no slow down in our efforts to tackle illegal working in London.
“Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime.
“It defrauds the treasury of much needed funds, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.”
He urged anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse to contact the Home Office at gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.