Preston Indian takeaway raided by Immigration Enforcement officers

An Indian takeaway in Preston has been raided by Immigration Enforcement officers at the weekend.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 12:22 pm
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 5:18 pm
The Cinnamon Spice takeaway in Water Lane, Preston was raided by Immigration Enforcment officers on Friday evening (July 9). Pic: Google

The agency said it conducted an intelligence-led visit to Cinnamon Spice in Water Lane on Friday (July 9), with support from Lancashire Police.

It said the raid was in response to reports that illegal migrants were allegedly working at the takeaway.

At around 7pm, the ICE team entered the Cinnamon Spice takeaway with a warrant and began searching the premises and interviewing staff members.

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Six illegal workers, all male, were found during the visit and will be dealt with according to the immigration rules, said the Home Office which oversees the agency.

It said that a civil penalty referral notice has been issued to the business for employing individuals with no right to work in the UK.

The investigation is ongoing.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The government is tackling illegal immigration and the harm it causes, often to the most vulnerable people, by removing those with no right to be in the UK.

"We continue to work with law enforcement agencies and tackle illegal migration in all its forms. Our New Plan for Immigration will speed up the removal of those who have entered the UK illegally."

The raid, which happened on a busy Friday evening, led to dozens of takeaway orders not being delivered as staff were detained and questioned.

What does Cinnamon Spice management say?

Management at the takeaway has denied employing workers illegally. It said the raid was based on "false accusations" from an anonymous tip-off and claimed that the ICE team had "found nothing" during its visit.

But in a statement on its Facebook page, the takeaway appeared to admit that staff were not always vetted before being hired to make sure they are eligible to work in the UK.

It said: "A lot of customers orders were not fulfilled and we are deeply sorry. A false accusation had been made against us and immigration came to check up but found nothing.

"The claim was false and was done out of jealousy and hate. People will always hate when you are doing well and that is what happened last night.

"This has happened many times, but jealousy and hate will never get you anywhere. We are thankful for our loyal customers and their understanding of our situation.

"Immigration were just doing their job to keep everyone safe and thus it had disrupted orders but please contact the shop and we will make it right.

"We have many employees coming in and out and as a busy takeout we are unable to check all the documents for all our staff as they start as soon as possible, as staff is always needed and we need to serve our customers.

"Packing and phoning is where majority of the new staff come in as our takeout is very busy and need people to be there on time as soon as possible.

"To those who gave the false information, good try but you failed again."

What is ICE?

ICE teams, formerly part of the defunct UK Border Force, investigate compliance with immigration laws and carry out enforcement, including tracking down illegal migrants and targeting companies employing workers illegally.

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