A POPULAR takeaway in Romsey is facing a fine of up to £40,000 after UK Border Agency staff raided the business.

Two men were arrested during the raid which took place at the Spice of Romsey, in Viney Avenue, at around 5.30pm last Friday.

Now, the Home Office has confirmed that two Bangladeshi men, aged 37 and 43, were working illegally.

The 37-year-old had overstayed his visa while the 43-year-old had entered the UK illegally.

A spokesman said Spice of Romsey could now face a fine of up to £40,000, and both men are being detained while steps are taken to remove them from the country.

He added: “The business was served a civil penalty referral notice which warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found could be imposed unless the employer 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.

“This means Spice of Romsey faces a financial penalty of up to £40,000.”

Proprietor Taris Ali said Indian restaurants were finding it increasingly difficult to find staff.

“We normally employ regular staff but one of our people was on holiday and we needed an extra pair of hands, “ he said.

“We found someone who was able to help us out on the evening. He arrived just before we opened and we didn’t have time to check his paperwork, but we’d spoken to him on the phone and he assured us everything was ok.

It was a silly mistake and I guess I’m going to have to pay for it. The other man just happened to be visiting us and was still here when the immigration people arrived.”