Restaurant workers jailed for nearly 20 years

FIVE people who were involved in the exploitation of illegal workers in two Chinese restaurants in Ipswich have been given jail sentences totalling nearly 20 years.

Immigration officers who carried out two raids at the Temptation Chinese Buffet on Carr Street discovered 16 Chinese and Malaysian illegal immigrants working there and a raid at the Lucky Star Takeaway in Hawthorn Drive identified a further four illegal workers, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Yesterday there were emotional scenes as Phing Woon Pun, the owner of the two businesses, his wife Kim Tai Wong, their son Yung Fatt Pun, daughter Siow Yin Pun and restaurant manager Ai Vee Ong were all jailed for their roles in what was described by a judge as “the exploitation of illegal workers to make large profits”.

In addition to being involved in the exploitation of illegal workers the defendants were sentenced for their involvement in a number of other offences including mortgage fraud, money laundering and selling counterfeit goods in Temptation Accessory shops in The Walk, Ipswich and Eld Lane, Colchester.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Thompson said, “You were all prepared to ignore the law and take any opportunity you could to make money.”


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He said they could have used their undoubted skills and hard work to generate lawful profits but instead chose to participate in a series of criminal acts.

“I don’t accept for a moment that you believed you weren’t doing anything wrong.”

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“Not one of you can say you only committed a minor breach of the law,” he added.

Phing Woon Pun, 47, of Penn Close, Capel St Mary, who has a previous conviction for employing illegal workers in Colchester in 2007, was jailed for six years after being convicted last month of conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK’s immigration laws, conspiring to sell goods which infringe trademark and copyright, obtaining a �198,000 money transfer by deception and converting criminal property.

Kim Tai Wong, 46, of the same address was jailed for 30 months after being found guilty of conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK’s immigration laws and converting criminal property.

The couple’s son Yung Fatt Pun, 28, of Silk Street, Ipswich, was jailed for four years after being convicted of conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law, fraud and converting criminal property.

Their daughter Siow Yin Pun, 27, also of Silk Street was jailed for three years for conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law, conspiring to sell counterfeit goods and converting criminal property.

Ai Vee Ong, 31, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, was jailed for four years for conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law, conspiring to sell counterfeit goods and converting criminal property.

All five defendants had denied the charges but were convicted by a jury after a two-month trial which finished last month. Sentence was adjourned until yesterday for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

In addition to the jail terms Judge Thompson disqualifed all the defendants apart from Kim Tai Wong from being company directors for ten years.

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