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Norwich newsagents' arrests

PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:14 01 July 2010

A Norwich newsagents has been forced to close after all three members of staff were arrested by the UK Border Agency

A Norwich newsagents has been forced to close after all three members of staff were arrested by the UK Border Agency.

Officers from the Norfolk immigration team raided St Johns News, in St Johns Close, off Hall Road, at about 2pm on Tuesday.

Immigration checks revealed that the two members of staff, plus the newspaper delivery man who had just returned from his rounds, were all in the UK illegally.

The three men - a 46-year-old, a 35-year-old and a 45-year-old - were all from Sri Lanka and had overstayed their visas.

Another illegal immigrant - a 27-year-old failed asylum seeker from India - was found in the accommodation above the shop.

All four men were arrested and have been placed in UK Border Agency detention while arrangements are made for their removal from the UK.

St Johns News now potentially faces a fine of up to £30,000 - £10,000 per illegal worker - unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.

Insp Colin Daulby, from the immigration team, said: “If people want to work in the UK, there are ways they can apply to come here legitimately.

“If they decide to ignore immigration laws, we will find them and look to remove them from the country.

“Anyone in Norfolk who employs a foreign national without permission to work is breaking the law and undermining law-abiding businesses.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to carry out the right checks.”

Guidance for employers on preventing illegal working can be found on the UK Border Agency website, www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employingmigrants or by calling the UK Border Agency Employers Helpline on 0845 0106677.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed in Norfolk should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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