Saffron Restaurant in Clacton has licence suspended and faces large fine

Clacton Town Hall has suspended the restaurant's licence. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Clacton Town Hall has suspended the restaurant's licence. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

An Indian restaurant in north Essex has had its alcohol and late food licence suspended after employing illegal workers.

Immigration officials raided the Saffron Restaurant, in Ravensdale Road, Clacton, on February 15.

Four male workers were found to be working illegally and escorted off the premises, one of whom has since been arrested and removed from the UK.

Four men had overstayed their visas – three Bangladeshis, aged 26, 28 and 36, and a 21-year-old Afghan.

The has been removed from the country, while cases in the other three are ongoing.

As a result of the raid, Essex Police asked Tendring District Council to review the restaurant’s licence.

The authority’s licensing committee agreed this week to temporarily suspend the licence for three months – meaning the restaurant cannot serve alcohol at any time, or food after 11pm.

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Saffron Restaurant has 21 days in which to appeal against the decision.

Stephen Sparrow, Essex Police’s county licensing officer, said: “Employing illegal workers is not a victimless crime, it cheats the government of revenue, it gives premises an unfair business advantage and it prevents people who have a legal right to work job opportunities.

“We have future operations planned and we will continue, along with immigration officers, to take positive action against licensees who employ illegal workers across the county.

“We take these types of cases very seriously. The message is clear if licensees are caught employing persons who have no right to work they must face the consequences.” The restaurant faces a potential £20,000 fine per illegal worker, unless it can prove it made adequate immigration and employment checks before taking on the staff.

The EADT has contacted the restaurant for comment.

• People with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

• Information to help employers carry out checks to prevent illegal working can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties.