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Raids hit Indian restaurants in Britain

india Updated: Apr 05, 2008 08:55 IST
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Many Britons have recently had their evenings at Indian restaurants rudely interrupted by raids by immigration officials seeking to nab illegal workers, leading to a welter of protest from MPs and campaigners.

Since January, when new immigration rules were announced, there have been several reports of officials conducting raids in Indian restaurants across Britain. In many cases, chefs and others working illegally were arrested.

The Indian restaurant industry is faced with a decline due to the shortage of trained chefs, and the inability to recruit from the Indian sub-continent due to the new immigrations rules.

The raids have worsened the situation, leading to public protests against the immigration rules in Scotland and other places. The latest such raid was conducted this week in two Indian restaurants in York -- The Gate of India and Tandoori Nights.

Reports from York say that the two restaurants could face prosecution after the clandestine operation by officers of the Border and Immigration Agency uncovered four suspected illegal immigrant workers.

Three workers were questioned at The Gate Of India about their right to work in the UK and one arrest was made. Six workers out of the seven staff at Tandoori Nights were questioned and three arrests were made.

The operations came after the Government announced plans late last year to introduce a new system of penalties, meaning businesses could face fines of up to thousands of pounds for every illegal worker who is employed in the business - not just those arrested.