A RESTAURANT owner has been fined £10,000 for employing illegal immigrants.
Rofiqul Islam, the owner of The Grapes Tandoori in Uxbridge Road, Hayes, was caught in a Home Office
crackdown. Two people working illegally were found at his premises.
But Mr Islam claims he is just as much a victim, and is to appeal.
He said: "We do check that employ-ees have a national insurance card and a passport but I didn't know that their passports were fraudulent.
"I checked the photographs but I didn't verify their address, but then I'm not an immigration officer.
"It's a hefty fine for us and we are in the process of making an appeal."
The Home Office also fined 200 other companies nationwide as part of their investigation, which aims to identify and expose businesses employing people who do not have permission to work in the country.
Nick Logan, of the UK Border Agency, part of the Home Office, said: "The operation has been run since February, following changes in legislation which means that we can now give companies an on-the-spot fine.
"The investigation is intelligence lead, and the idea is to name and shame businesses and to show employers that they do have a responsibility towards the people they employ."