OFFICERS from the UK Border Agency have arrested six suspected illegal immigrants in a series of raids.
Acting on intelligence, officers swooped in Chester and arrested two Ghanaian men who were working for a contract valeting company.
The pair were working for Falcon Car Care at a site in Huntington when they were arrested.
Both were found to be in the country illegally.
One of the men, aged 45 was found to have entered the UK illegally and the other, aged 43 was found to have overstayed his visa.
Later on Wednesday evening UK Border Agency officers arrested four Bangladeshi men in a raid on the Agra Fort Restaurant in Cambridge Road, Ellesmere Port.
Working in co-operation with Cheshire Police, immigration officers found the four – aged between 31 and 33 – had no right to be in the UK, having entered the UK illegally or overstayed their visa.
All six men currently remain in detention pending their removal from the UK.
Alison Wray, head of enforcement for the UK Border Agency in the North West, said: “We will continue to track down those who have no right to be living or working in the UK.
“This was a successful operation unearthing six immigration offenders. The message is clear; if you are here illegally we will find you, we will catch you and we will remove you from the UK.
“The UK Border Agency is targeting unscrupulous employers who hire illegal workers thereby undercutting wages and potentially exploiting vulnerable workers.
“We are happy to work with businesses and advise what checks need to be carried out on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face heavy fines.”
The UK Border Agency has also served the Agra Fort with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers. If the restaurant is unable to provide evidence that legally required checks were carried out before employing the workers such as asking for a passport or Home Office documentation then a penalty of up to £10,000 will be imposed.
The UK Border Agency said Falcon Car Care had co-operated fully with immigration officers during the raid in Huntington.
Falcon Car Care declined to comment when asked by the Leader.
l ANYONE who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org