Officers have swooped on a trio of Scarborough curry houses in a simultaneous immigration raid, with a restaurant owner among those arrested.
Three arrests were made tonight at the Indian Rose Brasserie in Castle Road, while at the same time, police arrested a worker at Eastern Paradise in St Helen’s Square.
Among those arrested is the Indian Rose’s owner, who has been detained on suspicion of knowingly employing illegal workers.
He was taken to Scarborough Police Station by plain clothed detectives, where he is expected to be quizzed tomorrow.
The other two arrested at the property include a suspected illegal worker, as well as another suspect, who police believe has overstayed his working visa.
He was discovered in what’s thought to be “living quarters” above the restaurant.
At Eastern Paradise, the manager was issued with a civil penalty notice for employing a suspected illegal worker.
The fines, which are set to be upped dramatically by the Home Office, can currently be for as much as £10,000 for each illegal worker found.
Due to the criminal aspect of the alleged crimes, no penalty notice has yet been imposed on the Indian Rose Brasserie.
All four of those arrested are understood to be Bangladesh-born.
Home Office detectives and Scarborough police officers joined forces for the operation, which has been methodically planned over the course of several months.
In a co-ordinated blitz, scores of officers swooped on the restaurants at around 6.30pm, as stunned diners watched on.
Officers had a warrant rubber stamped by the Home Office for the raids, after amassing evidence and intelligence over a prolonged period.
After executing the warrants, they also swooped on the Royal Tandoori, in Queen Street.
However, after rigorous checks, all staff working there were found to be working legally.
Mark Bates, part of the Home Office Criminal Investigation team, said: “This was a large scale operation to tackle suspected immigration abuse in Scarborough.
“Our investigation will continue with the evidence we have seized.”
See The Scarborough News website for further coverage tomorrow, and pick up The Scarborough News next Thursday for our exclusive pictures of the raid.