Immigration staff raid Portsmouth restaurants

A Home Office immigration van outside Spice Village in Drayton''''Picture: David Gander
A Home Office immigration van outside Spice Village in Drayton''''Picture: David Gander

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IMMIGRATION officers have raided an Indian restaurant and a Chinese takeaway, making three arrests and dishing out £40,000 in fines.

The Home Office immigration team swooped on Spice Village Drayton about 5.30pm Monday.

A Home Office spokesman said two Bangladeshi men were arrested in the raid.

One 29-year-old man was found to have overstayed his visa while the other, aged 32, was working in breach of his visa conditions.

The squad then hit Happy Meeting in Waverley Road, Southsea, about 9pm.

There, officers arrested a 26-year-old Chinese woman who had overstayed her visa.

A 25-year-old man, who was a joint Chinese/South African national, was found to be working in breach of his immigration bail conditions but not arrested.

He was escorted from the premises and told not to return to work.

A man who lives near Spice Village Drayton and did not want to be named described the raid as ‘impressive’.

He said: ‘They [the officers] were wearing big, stab-proof vests.

‘There were about six or seven of them, all in black.

‘Then I saw some immigrants bundled off in handcuffs a little while longer.’

The man said it was the second time he had seen the restaurant raided in six months.

Both eateries will have to pay £20,000 – £10,000 for each illegal worker – unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

All three people arrested were transferred to a detention centre pending removal from the UK.

Carla Johnson of the south-central Home Office immigration team said: ‘Illegal working is not victimless. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.’

People can report suspected immigration abuse at gov.uk/report-immigration-crime.