Restaurant facing big fine over illegal workers

THE owners of a Chinese restaurant in Suffolk are facing a substantial fine after three staff members were found to be working illegally.

Immigration officials carried out a raid at the Oriental Cuisine restaurant in Cattawade Street, Brantham, on June 6.

They identified a 29-year-old Indonesian woman who was working in breach of a visitor’s visa. The woman was deported by the UK Border Agency on Monday.

Checks on the restaurant also showed that two other members of staff – a 30-year-old Chinese man and a Chinese woman aged 38 – had no permission to work in the UK.

Both were failed asylum seekers and were taken into detention while arrangements are made for their removal from the UK.

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The restaurant now potentially faces a fine of up to �30,000 unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.

It is not the first time the restaurant has been in trouble with immigration officials.

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In 2008, the business was fined �15,000 and ordered to pay �4,250 costs after it was caught employing illegal workers.

Chief immigration officer Jack Davis, of the Local Immigration Team for Suffolk and north-east Essex, said: “It is disappointing that no lessons appear to have been learnt.

“The business is already paying off one substantial fine and now faces the prospect of another.

“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out.

“However, those intent on operating outside the law should be warned that they will be found, they will be punished and that we will be back to check up on them.”

No one from the Oriental Cuisine restaurant was available for comment.

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

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