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Restaurant facing huge fine

PUBLISHED: 10:50 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:11 05 July 2010

A CHINESE restaurant in north Suffolk is facing an £80,000 fine after a raid uncovered eight illegal workers being employed on the premises.

Immigration officials swooped on the China Diner, in High Street, Lowestoft, at the end of last month after they received intelligence about illegal workers.

A CHINESE restaurant in north Suffolk is facing an £80,000 fine after a raid uncovered eight illegal workers being employed on the premises.

Immigration officials swooped on the China Diner, in High Street, Lowestoft, at the end of last month after they received intelligence about illegal workers.

Eight Chinese nationals were subsequently arrested - six men and two women - after it was discovered they did not have the right to work in the country.

The restaurant owners are now facing a fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker employed unless they can convince the UK Border Agency the correct right-to-work checks for employing a worker from outside the EU were carried out.

Steps are now being taken to remove the illegal workers from the country after the raid, on August 21.

Last night the manager of the buffet restaurant declined to comment.

Gail Adams, UK Border Agency regional director, said: “We are working hard to pull the plug on the illegal immigrants to come to the UK in the first place.

“These visits show how seriously we are taking illegal working. Ignorance is not a defence. Businesses must prove that they have made the right checks before they employ migrant workers.”

A tough new civil penalty system of £10,000 per worker was brought in on February 29 this year to provide a fast and effective way of tackling bosses who fail to carry out proper checks on workers from outside Europe.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed in Suffolk can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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