Three illegal workers from Albania have been arrested following an operation by Home Office immigration enforcement in Ryde.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited Five Star Hand Car Wash in East Street at 15:00 yesterday (Wednesday), where individuals were questioned to check if they had the right to be in the UK.
Two of the men, aged 20 and 26, attempted to escape but were stopped by officers and arrested at the scene. The other man arrested was aged 25.
The 25-year-old was transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country. The other two are currently being questioned by immigration officers and also face removal from the country if found to have no right to remain.
Officers also found £2,000 in cash after searching an address in nearby Monkton Street where the 25-year-old lived.
The businesses will be served a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker arrested will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a potential total fine of £30,000.
The business continues to trade as per normal today (Thursday).
Carla Johnson, from the South Central Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said:
“The message to employers on the Isle of Wight who choose to use illegal labour is clear. We will catch you and you will face a heavy penalty.
“Illegal working has a negative impact on communities. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“These arrests are also a stark warning to anyone who is in the UK illegally. We will catch up with you and you will face arrest, detention and removal from the country.
“I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”