Three illegal workers found in Hainault store after raid

Three men have been found to be working illegally at a store in Hainault, despite its owner insisting he had not employed them.

Arul Masilamany is facing a fine of up to �30,000 after a raid at the Nisa Extra store in Manford Way last week.

Officers, acting on intelligence, carried out checks on staff to ensure they had the right to work in the UK.

A 31-year-old Sri Lankan man was found to have entered the country illegally. He was arrested and placed on immigration bail while the UK Border Agency takes steps to remove him from the country.

Two other Sri Lankan men, aged 29 and 60, were failed asylum seekers and have also been placed on immigration bail

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The UK Border Agency said all three men were found to be working in the Nisa store.

Mr Masilamany, 38, of Ilford, was given a penalty notice warning he could face a fine of up to �10,000 for each illegal worker found, unless he can prove to the UK Border Agency the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

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But speaking to the Recorder, Mr Masilamany said two of the men were unknown to him, and were “possibly customers”.

He said: “When I got to the store they had already gone, so I don’t know who they are”.

He added the 31-year-old “wasn’t working, just talking to his brother” who he was visiting.

Mr Masilamany said he has contacted his lawyer and plans to contest the fine.

Richard Marley, head of the UK Border Agency’s Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge local immigration team, said: “Where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.

“But we are also looking to take action against those who employ illegal workers.

“We’re happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who choose to break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.”

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