A Chinese restaurant has been caught employing three illegal workers, with two further illegal immigrants found hiding in the upstairs flat. UK Border Agency officers raided the China Inn in Ely’s Market Street yesterday lunchtime.
The enforcement operation was part of planned nationwide action by the UK Border Agency to tackle illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime. Two male members of staff attempted to run, but were apprehended before they were able to leave the premises. Immigration checks subsequently showed that both Malaysian men – aged 31 and 26 – were immigration offenders, having overstayed their visas.
A third employee, a 32-year-old Malaysian woman working as a waitress, was also found to have overstayed her visa. When officers checked the flat above the restaurant two further Malaysian visa overstayers were discovered, a 29-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man.
All five were arrested and remain in UK Border Agency detention while arrangements are made for their removal from the country.
The China Inn now faces a potential fine of up to £30,000 – £10,000 per illegal worker – unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.