Three people face being thrown out of the country after being caught working illegally in two West Lothian businesses.
Home Office immigration enforcement officers launched raids at Bombay Spice, on West Calder’s Main Street, and Addiewell Superstore.
Three offenders were found to have overstayed their visas in the intelligence-led checks.
The West Calder restaurant was raided at around 5.30pm last Thursday before the Addiewell newsagent was hit at around 7.30pm.
All staff were questioned to check they had the right to live and work in the UK.
A 29-year-old Indian man was arrested at Bombay Spice, while a 27-year-old Indian woman was later arrested at a home in Livingston.
A 31-year-old Pakistani man was arrested at the Addiewell store. All three have been detained while steps are taken to remove them from the country.
Both operations were supported by officers from Police Scotland and HM Revenue and Customs. The businesses face a potential financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker – unless the employer can prove that they carried out appropriate checks.
Umang Mundepi, manager at Bombay Spice, insisted that the man arrested in his restaurant was not an employee.
He said: “He doesn’t work with us. He’s a friend and he was just coming in to see me.
“He wasn’t working for me as a casual.”
Addiewell Superstore manager Khalid Mahmood said he had been liaising with the authorities.
He said: “I have provided all the documents that I had from him. He was on a work experience placement just 15 hours per week. I have given proof of this to the police. He told me that he had applied for a further extension of his visa.”
The operations were launched after a new package of measures to crack down further on illegal working was unveiled by the UK government.
The Immigration Bill, due to be introduced this autumn, will include new powers to deter people from trying to find work illegally and measures to deal more effectively with businesses who flout the rules.
A new criminal offence of working illegally will mean illegal migrants face prison sentences of up to six months. They could also have their wages seized as proceeds of crime.
Late-night takeaways, pubs and off-licences will also be required to comply with immigration laws or face being stripped of their licences.