China Inn in Ely raided by Border Agency

PUBLISHED: 16:01 02 September 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 02 September 2010

China Inn, Ely

China Inn, Ely

Archant

A CHINESE restaurant in Ely has been caught employing three illegal workers, with two further illegal immigrants found hiding in the upstairs flat.

A CHINESE restaurant in Ely 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 Market Street on Wednesday 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.

Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said:

Immigration Officer Andy Morfill, from the UK Border Agency’s Local Immigration Team for Cambridgeshire and East Northamptonshire, said:

“Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties.

“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law should be warned that they will be found and they will be punished.”

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