TWO men were arrested and their employers could be fined up to £40,000 after Home Office officers raided a Highworth restaurant on Thursday.

An immigration enforcement team from the government department visited Spice Kitchen on Swindon Street at around 5.35pm and arrested a 33-year-old man and a 43-year-old man, both Bangladeshi, inside the restaurant.

Checks showed that the two men had overstayed their visa and they will be detained while steps are taken to remove them from the country.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “Acting on intelligence, Immigration Enforcement officers visited Spice Kitchen.

“Spice Kitchen was served a referral notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will 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 is a potential total of up to £40,000.”

Local resident Peter Stewart witnessed some of the incident.

He said: “I was coming home from work and got stuck in rush hour traffic.

“I was driving onto Swindon Street from the Highworth Bowling Club at around half five and saw a Home Office van parked outside the club.

“A few minutes later, I was stopped at the traffic lights on Swindon Street and saw the van park outside Tasty Garden, with another unmarked car parked outside the Italian restaurant.

“Four officers from the van crossed the street and went around the back in full uniform and the two from the unmarked car went into Spice Kitchen through the front.”

The Indian restaurant and takeaway was open for business as usual yesterday

When asked about the incident, a staff member said: “Two officers came in around 6pm, they just wanted to check if everything was okay, that’s all.”

People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.