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Two detained after immigration raid at Raja of Kent restaurant, Tenterden

By Rachael Woods

An immigration raid at an Indian restaurant has resulted in two workers being detained.

Acting on intelligence, immigration enforcement officers visited the Raja of Kent, Biddenden Road, Tenterden, at about 8pm on Friday.

Two Bangladeshi men aged 27 and 28, had overstayed their visas, while a 42-year-old Indian man was found to have entered the UK illegally.

The restaurant at the centre of an immigration raid
The restaurant at the centre of an immigration raid

Both Bangladeshi nationals were detained, while steps are taken to remove them from the country. The Indian man must report to immigration enforcement while his case is heard.

A witness who wished to remain anonymous reported seeing police and Home Office immigration enforcement vehicles surround the Raja of Kent, which has been established for 15 years.

The restaurant was served a civil penalty referral notice in relation to illegal workers, which could result in a fine of £20,000 per illegal worker, a potential total of £60,000, if the employer fails to show that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out.

The Raja of Kent restaurant in High Halden
The Raja of Kent restaurant in High Halden

Richard Lederle, head of the South East Immigration Enforcement team, said: "This is a clear warning to those in Kent abusing our immigration laws that, wherever you are in the country, our dedicated and well-resourced teams will find you.

“Using illegal labour is not victimless crime; it cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.

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

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

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