An illegal immigrant from India is among four people arrested by UK Border Agency officials from a restaurant in northern England.
The four men were taken into custody from the Kebabish Original restaurant in Middlesbrough by the Cleveland Police yesterday in a joint operation with officials from the UK Border Agency.
Restaurant owner Humran Pervez, 30, claimed that he had no idea that the four men might be working illegally. However, he is expected to face prosecution since it is against the law to employ illegal immigrants.
A spokeswoman for the UK Border Agency said: "We can confirm it was a joint police and UK Border Agency intelligence operation and two Pakistani nationals, one Indian national and one Afghan national were arrested.
"The arrests were made by police and they were handed to Border Agency officials. A notice of potential liability was served on the employer.
"He could face two years in jail and/or up to a pounds 10,000 fine for each individual he has employed knowingly. Even if he employed them unknowingly, but failed to carry out the proper checks, he could be liable.
Pervez told the local media: "When they started working for me I asked for all their documents and they produced them - I checked everything out and took them on thinking they were legal. I'm shocked by what has happened."
Since tough new rules were introduced in February 2008, over 1,000 fines worth around 9.7 million pounds have been issued to employers, who employed people did not have permission to work in the UK.