Two men had overstayed their visas

Two immigration offenders have been arrested following an operation by a Home Office immigration enforcement team in Moira.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited the Masala Hut restaurant on Main Street at 7pm last Friday (December 13) and questioned staff to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

Two Bangladeshi men, aged 25 and 32, who had overstayed their visas were found working illegally and arrested.

The Masala Hut will be served with 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 £20,000.

The two men are now in immigration detention while steps are taken to remove them from the country.

Assistant Director Mike Golden, from the Home Office’s Northern Ireland Immigration Enforcement Team, said: “We are working hard to track down people breaking the UK’s immigration laws and carry out regular operations across Northern Ireland.

“Illegal working is not a victimless crime.

“It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.

“Information from the public can be a huge help in our work and I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit

On Tuesday, March 26 the Home Secretary announced that the UK Border Agency would be replaced by two new immigration commands within the Home Office- an immigration and visa service and an immigration law enforcement organisation. These changes came into effect on Monday, April 1.