Feb 17 2011 By Bryan Brough
SHOPPERS looked on in shock as immigration officers raided a nail salon in a busy Paisley mall.
Lawmen from the UK Border Agency rushed into the Nail GaGa salon at The Paisley Centre and left police standing guard outside while they quizzed members of staff.
Yesterday, a UKBA spokesperson told the Paisley Daily Express their officers discovered that a Chinese woman had been working illegally at the shop.
Now the woman’s employers face a fine of up to £10,000 unless they can provide evidence that the proper legal checks were carried out before she was handed a job.
The swoop on the nail salon – which is located on the middle level of The Paisley Centre – took place at around 4pm following a tip-off from a member of the public.
A woman working at another store in the popular mall told the Express: “I saw five or six men wearing yellow jackets rushing into the Nail GaGa shop.
“They spent quite a while inside, talking to a number of staff. Then I saw a couple of them escorting a woman from the premises.
“She was the only one who was led away.
“I heard that the guys in the yellow jackets were from the UK Border Agency, so I presumed it had something to do with immigration.
“The mall was busy with customers at the time and people were wondering what on earth was going on.”
Yesterday, bosses at The Paisley Centre refused to comment as they said it was a matter for the UKBA.
A member of staff at Nail GaGa also failed to comment when the Express paid a visit to the salon.
However, a spokeswoman for the UKBA confirmed that their officers were acting on intelligence as they staged the swoop on The Paisley Centre.
She said: “After interviewing all staff, a Chinese woman was found to be working illegally at the business. She must now report regularly to the UKBA while her outstanding immigration case is concluded.
“The employer was served with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal worker.
“If the employer is unable to provide evidence that legally-required checks were carried out before giving her a job – such as asking for a passport or a Home Office document – a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker can be imposed.”
The spokeswoman also urged other members of the public to raise the alarm if they believe any employers are flouting immigration laws.
She added: “Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”