FIVE people were arrested and £2,000 was seized during immigration raids at two Hereford takeaways.

The intelligence-led operations at Spice Minister in Widemarsh Street and Ruby Chinese in Union Street on Saturday were led by Immigration Enforcement officers

During the visits, which were supported by officers from West Mercia Police, Herefordshire Council and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, checks were carried out to ensure staff had the right to live and work in the UK.

The first operation was at about 5.10pm at Spice Minister, where they arrested a 33-year-old Bangladeshi man as checks showed he had overstayed his visa – he was detained pending removal from the UK.

Two further Bangladeshi men aged 23 and 32 were found to have ongoing immigration cases, but no permission to work. Both were escorted from the premises.

Following this at about 7.10pm, officers visited the Ruby Chinese, where they arrested four Chinese nationals as checks showed they had entered the UK illegally. All four - a woman aged 31 and three men aged 32, 37 and 46 – were detained pending removal from the UK.

Officers also seized more than £2,000 in cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act as the money was suspected to be the proceeds of illegal working. An application has been made to the courts to request forfeiture of the money, which if successful will see the funds transferred to the public purse.

Spice Minister and Ruby Chinese were both served a civil penalty referral notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work. This is a potential total of up to £60,000 for Spice Minister and £80,000 for Ruby Chinese.

Carol Scarr, West Midlands immigration enforcement assistant director, said: “This was a successful operation for my officers, who carry out regular visits across Herefordshire.

"We work closely with other agencies to make use of our combined powers where businesses are not playing by the rules. Employers need to ensure they carry out the correct ‘right to work’ checks or face a heavy fine.

“Illegal working undercuts law-abiding employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the public purse.

“I urge anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”

Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at

People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.