FIVE alleged immigration offenders were arrested by a Home Office enforcement team on Thursday in an operation which focused on two Shetland takeaways.
The Home Office said two Chinese nationals, aged 31 and 43, were found to be working illegally at the Hai Yang takeaway in Scalloway, while immigration checks also discovered a 44 year old Malaysian man had overstayed his visit visa.
At the Taste of China in Brae, checks revealed a 51 year old Chinese national was an alleged immigration offender.
Police Scotland, which assisted the intelligence-led operation, arrested a 44 year old Chinese woman later in the evening and she was referred to immigration enforcement. She was discovered to have entered the UK illegally.
All five have been detained while steps are taken to remove them from the UK.
The visits to the Hai Yang and the Taste of China were made at around 5.30pm.
The businesses were served referral notices in relation to the workers arrested.
The notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found would be imposed unless the employers 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.
If proof is not provided, this is a potential total of up to £60,000 for Hai Yang and £20,000 for Taste of China.
On Monday morning a notice on the door of the Hai Yang said it would reopen on Tuesday.
Police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch said the force “very much welcome operations such as this multi-agency initiative”.
“It helps protect Shetland against criminal activity such as labour exploitation and immigration offences. It also sends a strong message that this kind of activity will not be tolerated in our islands,” he said.