Immigration arrests in Chinese restaurant raid

Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, Scot Lane
Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, Scot Lane

TWO people have been arrested following an immigration raid at a local Chinese restaurant.

Acting on intelligence, Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers visited the Phoenix on Scot Lane, Newtown, just after 6pm last Saturday.

There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences

Paul Airlie

A 31-year-old woman was detained for overstaying her visa and a 49-year-old man was taken into custody for having entered the country illegally, after staff were questioned to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK.

The man is now awaiting removal from the UK whilst the woman has been ordered to report to the Home Office regularly while work to remove her is carried out.

The business has also been served a notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker arrested will be imposed, unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right to work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.

Assistant Director Paul Airlie, from the regional Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “We will not relent in our efforts to tackle illegal working in Greater Manchester. Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime. It defrauds the treasury of much needed funds, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.

“There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences.

“I would urge people with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to contact us.”

Vicki Leslie, who was in the restaurant at the time, described how she saw two people being put into the back of an Immigration Enforcement vehicle.

She said: “Two home office vans arrived, secured all exits, checked all rooms including the toilets and then escorted all staff into the seating area and were checking visa status. They were on site for about 50 minutes while the restaurant remained open for the duration.”

Information to help employers prevent illegal working can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties. It includes a quick answer right-to-work tool to help employers check if someone can work in the UK.

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

The Evening Post attempted to contact the Phoenix for a comment but were unable to raise anyone.