Indian-origin businessmen are among 20 people banned from managing a company after they were found to be employing illegal workers in their establishments across the UK.
The UK's Insolvency Service said its countrywide crackdown over the past few months had found that all 20 had already been fined for employing illegal workers.
Ashim Kumar Saha, a director of Save & Pick Limited in London, was disqualified and fined 10,000 pounds for employing one illegal worker.
Manoj Barua and Vipan Kumar Sharma, directors of MV Hospitality Limited which traded as a restaurant known as Caf India in Glasgow were disqualified for employing four illegal workers and fined 40,000 pounds.
Eighteen people have been banned from being company directors or being involved in the management of companies for six years each, whilst two have been disqualified for seven years.
Between them, they employed 41 illegal workers and were fined a total of 505,000 pounds by the UK Home Office, none of which was paid. Two of the companies have now entered into liquidation, with a further two having been dissolved.
Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said those caught sought an unfair advantage over law abiding competitors by employing people who were not entitled to work legally in the UK.
"Employing illegal workers is not consequence free, either for the employer, the employee or the consumer," she said.
"By definition this is a set of people who are without the protection of the law and knowledge of the authorities, and thereby extremely vulnerable to exploitation in all its forms. It is bad for business and bad for society as a whole," she added.
The businesses caught up in the investigation, which include 11 restaurants, four takeaway/fast food establishments and a shop, are based in London, Sussex, North West, South Wales, Glasgow, Antrim, Frome and High Wycombe and cover South Asian and Chinese cuisines.
The Home Office, which carried out the joint investigation, warned that illegal working is not victimless.
"It undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the taxpayer. Businesses should be aware that they have a duty to check that their staff have permission to work in the UK," a spokesperson said.
The matters leading to all 20 disqualifications are that the directors failed to ensure that the companies complied with statutory obligations under the UK's Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to ensure that relevant immigration checks were completed and copy documents retained, resulting in the employment of illegal workers.
Following visits from Home Office Immigration, during which the breaches were discovered, the companies were issued with penalty notices ranging from 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds per worker, which remain unpaid.
All were directors of the companies at the time of the Home Office visit.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)