South Scotland

Immigration raids on Dumfries and Galloway restaurants

Twelve restaurant workers have been arrested in a series of immigration raids in Dumfries and Galloway.

Eight restaurants in Annan, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie and Dumfries were targeted in the operation.

Home Office immigration enforcement officers and Police Scotland questioned staff between 26 February and 5 March.

Eight were detained pending their removal from the country while four were released on the condition they report to the Home Office regularly.

Among those arrested were people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

A spokesman for the Home Office said the businesses where the offenders were found could face a £20,000 fine for each illegal worker, unless they can provide proof that appropriate checks were carried out.

Assistant Director Adam Scarcliffe, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: "Businesses in Scotland who employ illegal workers are defrauding the taxpayer, undercutting employers who ply an honest trade and cheating legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.

"We are happy to work with those who want to play by the rules but employers who break the law will face the consequences."

The restaurants targeted in the raids were the Jewel in the Crown, in Dumfries and Castle Douglas, Siemo Sieto in Dalbeattie and Dumfries, Jade Palace in Castle Douglas, Shilma Tandoori in Dumfries, Sitar in Annan and the Taj Mahal in Dalbeattie.

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