A restaurant in Alton is facing a potential financial penalty totalling £50,000 for employing illegal workers following an operation by Home Office immigration enforcement.

Officers visited Bengal Tandoori, High Street, just after 8pm yesterday (Tuesday 15 April), acting on intelligence that the business was employing staff with no right to work in the UK.

Three Bangladeshi men were arrested. Two, aged 22 and 32, were found to be working in breach of their visa conditions, while a 29-year-old had overstayed his visa.

Officers also found two further Bangladeshi men working illegally, a 33-year-old who had overstayed his visa and a 38-year-old who had entered the country illegally. They were not arrested but escorted from the premises and told not to return to work.

The three men arrested were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the UK.

The business was served a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a potential total of up to £50,000.

Carla Johnson, head of the South Central Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “These arrests are a clear warning to those in Hampshire abusing our immigration laws. There will be no slowdown in our efforts to arrest, detain and remove you from the UK.

“Employers who use illegal labour are defrauding the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying legitimate job hunters work.

“We’re happy to work with employers who want to play by the rules but those which continue to flout them will face heavy financial penalties.

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