Immigration raid at Indian restaurant in St Albans

Devdas Restaurant

Devdas Restaurant - Credit: Archant

Three men have been arrested in an immigration raid after illegally working at a local Indian restaurant without valid visas.

The men, who were aged 19, 30, and 56, are believed to have been employed by Devdas in St Peter’s Street, St Albans, without the necessary working visas.

Home Office immigration officers arrested the three men last Wednesday evening after checks revealed they were immigration offenders from Bangladesh.

When officers arrived at the restaurant the 30-year-old man attempted to escape but was stopped by someone covering the rear of the building.

It was later revealed both he and the 19 year old man were working in breach of their visas.

The 56 year old was found to have entered the UK illegally, and has been released on bail while the immigration team work to remove him from the UK.

Nobody from Devdas was prepared to comment to the Herts Advertiser following the raid.

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But the restaurant now faces a potential penalty of as much as £60,000 – £20,000 for each of the illegal workers.

To avoid the penalty the owners must demonstrate that appropriate pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.

Lorna Brown, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “Operations like these are carried out across the UK every day as our work to arrest, detail and remove immigration offenders from the UK continues.

“Employers who use illegal labour are cheating the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying legitimate job hunters work. Those who wilfully flout the rules will face heavy financial penalties.

“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can visit or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.