Illegal workers found at restaurant

A RESTAURANT faces a fine of up to �40,000 as four illegal workers were arrested at a Chinese restaurant following a raid by immigration officers.

John Howard

A RESTAURANT faces a fine of up to �40,000 as four illegal workers were arrested at a Chinese restaurant following a raid by immigration officers.

Officers from the UK Border Agency's Felixstowe branch arrested the employees in Stowmarket after the operation on Monday evening .

Acting on intelligence, a six-strong specialist team visited the New Oriental Chinese Restaurant on Station Road at 5.50pm where they sealed all exits before searching the premises.


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All the workers' identity documents were checked and four Chinese nationals were found in the kitchen area upstairs.

A 23-year-old man was identified as a failed asylum seeker, whilst three more men aged 20, 26 and 36, were found to be illegal entrants to the UK.

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All four immigration offenders are currently detained and steps are now being taken to remove them from the UK as soon as possible.

The business was issued with an on-the-spot penalty notice and may now face a fine of up to �40,000 for employing illegal workers. To avoid a heavy fine, the employer must convince the UK Border Agency that they carried out the correct right-to-work checks for employing staff from outside the European Union.

Gail Adams, UK Border Agency regional director, said: “We are working hard to pull the plug on the illegal jobs which lure illegal immigrants to come to the UK in the first place.

“This potential fine shows how seriously we are taking illegal working. Ignorance is not a defence. Businesses must prove that they have made the right checks before they employ migrant workers.”

A tough new civil penalty system was brought in last year to provide a fast and effective way of tackling bosses who fail to carry out proper checks on employees from outside Europe. A fine of up to �10,000 can be imposed for every illegal worker found at a business.

Guidance for employers on preventing illegal working can be found by calling the UK Border Agency Employers Helpline on 0845 010 6677. Anyone who suspects that people are being employed in breach of the law within Suffolk should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and can do so anonymously.

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