Sophisticated counterfeit IDs are fooling restaurant owners into employing illegal workers, a manager has claimed.
Four Bangladeshi staff members at a Bournemouth restaurant were arrested during a series of UK Border Agency raids last week.
The business now faces a fine of up to £10,000 per worker unless it can prove it carried out the proper right-to-work checks, reported the Bournemouth Echo.
Mo Islam, manager of Cinnamon, said two of the workers had provided fake passports as identification. The other two had only started the night before the raid, and he was waiting for their IDs to be provided.
"People don't understand why this happens; it is a huge problem for all caterers at the moment," he said. "We don't have equipment for checking whether these documents are genuine, and they look exactly the same.
"One of them even provided a National Insurance number and we started paying tax on it. It is a problem for us employing these people as you don't know what you are getting. We have all the paperwork so hopefully we shouldn't have any further problems from this, but I don't know what can be done about the wider problem."
Three of the workers were arrested for outstaying their visas and the fourth for entering the UK illegally.
On the same evening, a Nepalese man working in the kitchens at Gurkha 2 in Boscombe, was found to have outstayed his visa and also arrested.
Ferndown councillor Steve Lugg said: "If illegal workers are conning businesses into taking them on it is a big problem.
"Unless it is proved otherwise, as a councillor I feel we need to be getting behind these businesses. Times are tough, and with all the legislation and checks businesses have to wade through on this issue it is very hard for them to be experts."