Updated: Man arrested after immigration operation near Cooper Bridge

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A suspected immigration offender from Pakistan was arrested near Cooper Bridge this morning.

Officers from Home Office Immigration Enforcement visited Joseph Furniture at 8.45am after a tip-off that the business was employing illegal workers.

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of overstaying his visa.

He is being detained pending further investigations into his case.

If he is found to be in the country illegally he faces removal from the UK.

Joseph Furniture is in Station Road, Bradley,

According to a Home Office Immigration and Borders spokesman, the company will be served a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 could be imposed for employing the illegal worker unless proof is provided that legally required right to work checks were carried out, such as seeing a Home Office document or passport.

But a spokesman for the company stressed they did not know the man’s student visa had expired and had done everything they could to make sure he was working there legally.

The spokesman said the man’s visa was valid until 2015, but did not know it had been revoked due to the fact the man was not attending college. “We would not keep a record of that,” the spokesman said. The man only worked at the store for one or two days a week, the spokesman added.

He also stated that they fully cooperated with officers, who only visited the shop because the man was not at his home address.

The spokesman said officers on the ground had told management it was not their fault. He also said that only a few weeks earlier the company had turned down a job applicant as they failed visa checks.

Deputy director Anita Bailey, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “Businesses in and around Huddersfield who employ illegal workers are defrauding the treasury of vital funds, undercutting employers who ply an honest trade and cheating legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.

“We are happy to work with those who want to play by the rules but employers who break the law will face the consequences.

“People with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse should contact us.”

Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties.

It includes a new quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone has the right to work in the UK.

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.