After restaurants, UKBA looking at car washes to nab illegal workers

Carries out series of raids at car washes across Cheshire
15th September 2010: After restaurants and takeaways, it’s the turn of car washes.
The UK Border Agency is now cracking down on car washes to check the hiring of illegal migrants. As a part of the enforcement operation, the UK Border Agency carried out a series of raids at car washes across Cheshire.

The operation against the car washes was a part of planned nationwide action by the UKBA to tackle illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime.

In all, five immigration offenders have been caught by the UKBA following the series of raids. The five businesses were targeted in an intelligence led operation on Monday 13 September and Tuesday 14 September. Specially trained UK Border Agency Officers questioned staff to ensure they had the right to work in the UK.

One of the men, a 20-year-old Albanian, was arrested for working illegally and is now in immigration detention awaiting removal from the UK. The other four, three Iranians and one Iraqi, all aged 20 years, have now been released on immigration bail, while arrangements are also made to remove them from the UK.

Each of the owners of the car washes have been handed a civil penalty notice for employing illegal workers. If they are unable to prove the correct pre-employment checks were carried out on the staff, a fine of up to £10,000 per worker will be imposed.

Liz Weston, director of the Cheshire local immigration team, said: ‘We are working closely with police and other corporate partners to disrupt and deter illegal working in Cheshire.

‘We will continue to support those companies who seek to comply with the law but will crackdown on employers who don’t play by the rules.

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