A Poulton restaurant faces a possible £20,000 fine after being raided by immigration officers from the Home Office.
A 38-year-old man from Bangladesh was found working at Maya Indian Restaurant by officials on Friday, following a tip-off.
And the government department has now ordered bosses there to prove they carried out proper checks or be punished for employing an illegal worker.
The man, who was ‘escorted’ from the eatery, in Tithebarn Street, has applied to stay in the country but is not entitled to work, the Home Office said.
He must now report regularly to immigration enforcement officials while his case remains ongoing.
Nobody at Maya, which has mainly positive reviews from customers on Trip Advisor, could be reached for a comment yesterday.
One witness said he saw a Home Office van parked in the car park opposite the restaurant, and described seeing eight officers climb out and go into Maya.
In a statement given to The Gazette, the Home Office said: “In an intelligence-led operation, immigration enforcement officers visited Maya on Friday at 6.30pm.
The business was served a referral notice in relation to an illegal worker found.
“The notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.”
Immigration Enforcement was set up in April 2012 to crackdown on the number of illegal immigrants living and working in the UK. One of its three core objectives is to ‘encourage and enforce the return of’ illegal immigrants.
Employers can be sent to jail for five years and forced pay an unlimited fine if found guilty of employing someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ didn’t have the right to work in the UK.