A RESTAURANT owner has insisted his firm has done nothing wrong after a visit from immigration officers.
Immigration enforcement officers arrested an immigration offender following an operation at Otello Restaurant in Church Road, Hove, on Wednesday August 17.
Staff were questioned to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK and a 37-year-old man from Albania who had entered the UK illegally was taken away to immigration detention pending his removal from the country.
Otello boss Saied Abdulkhani said the worker had produced fake documents and he was confident that the firm would not have to pay a potential fine of up to £20,000.
The fine will be imposed unless the firm can demonstrate that appropriate right to work document checks were carried out.
Mr Abdulkhani said: “He produced documents showing he was able to work and he has been paying tax and national insurance.
“We have done everything we are supposed to be doing.
“If the immigration service couldn’t stop him getting into the country, what chance do we have?”
“I’m confident we have done nothing wrong and we won’t be fined.”
Inspector Ceri Williams, of the Kent and Sussex Immigration Enforcement team, said: “Using illegal labour is not victimless crime.
“It defrauds the Treasury, depriving vital public services like schools and hospitals of funds, it undercuts honest businesses and it cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.”
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
By Neil Vowles for The Argus
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