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Uzbek workers arrested in immigration raid at Cote restaurant Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 15:32 04 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:32 04 November 2014

A mystery kind-hearted lady picked up the bill for two diners at Cote

A mystery kind-hearted lady picked up the bill for two diners at Cote

Archant

Three illegal workers were arrested during an immigration raid on a Hampstead restaurant yesterday.

Home Office officials acting on intelligence visited Cote in Hampstead High Street at 12noon yesterday.

They arrested two Uzbeki men, one 18-year-old who had overstayed his visa and a 30-year-old who was in the country illegally.

They were transferred to a detention centre to be deported.

A 23-year-old Russian man working in breach of visa conditions has been ordered to report to the Home Office regularly.

The business was served with a warning and could face a £60,000 fine - £20,000 per illegal worker - if it fails to prove the correct document checks were carried out.

Lionel Chalke, from the Central London Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “These arrests show that we will not ease up in our efforts to combat illegal working and immigration crime.

“Businesses in London should be warned that our officers carry out regular operations to tackle abuse of the system.

“Some businesses may feel that hiring illegal workers is harmless, but they are wrong.

“It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and often exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.

“It also means legitimate job hunters are starved of employment opportunities.

“We are happy to assist businesses and advise them on what checks need to be carried out on staff, but employers who choose to flout the rules will face a heavy penalty.”

Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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