Three illegal workers have been discovered at a car wash in Maidstone, Kent. The three men were busted by officers from the UK Border Agency on March 9th as they worked at a hand car wash on Maidstone’s Sutton Road.
On entering the place of business, the UK Border Agency officials checked identity documents and spoke with members of staff present. The identity documents were counterfeit, stating that the men were of Greek and Italian nationalities. The three men were arrested for possessing these counterfeit documents. They later admitted to being Arabian.
Following their arrest, officials raided the house the three men shared in Wallis Avenue, Park Wood. The discovered one Arabian passport belonging to one of the men. He is now in custody pending deportation. The other two men are also still remanded in custody charged with fraud offences. They are also likely to be deported once the criminal proceedings have been concluded.
Speaking on behalf of the UK Border Agency in Kent, Carla Johnson said that she hoped this case would act as a deterrent to other businesses. She continued: “These arrests show our commitment to targeting those who work illegally. It is a crime that not only undercuts local businesses but also has a serious impact on local communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work. We will act on any information received and, if appropriate, visit the place concerned and make arrests. No matter what line of business you are in, you are not safe. We will not tolerate illegal working in Kent.”
Investigations are ongoing regarding the franchise owner of the car wash. It is possible that he will be served a Notice of Potential Liability for employing the three men once the investigations have been completed. This could see the franchisee facing fines of up to £30,000 per illegal employee. Although the car wash shares the same location as a BP Garage, there is no connection between the two, therefore they will not be held responsible.
The points based system used to determine immigrants’ right to work in the UK is similar to that used in Australia. Only non-EU workers who have skills lacking in the UK are permitted to work here.