Belfast Telegraph

Belfast restaurant faces £60k fine over illegal staff

By Adrian Rutherford

A restaurant could face a £60,000 fine after three immigration offenders from China were found working at its premises.

Immigration Enforcement officers visited Red Panda at Queens Quay in Belfast on Saturday.

The business was served a referral notice, warning that a fine 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 confirming permission to work.

Mike Golden from Immigration Enforcement in Northern Ireland said: "We are happy to work with businesses to explain the simple pre-employment checks needed to establish a person's right to work in the UK, but to those who choose to ignore the rules the message is clear - we will find you and you will face a heavy financial penalty.

"Illegal working is not victimless. It undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the public purse.

"I urge anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch."

Immigration checks at Red Panda identified two men, aged 37 and 41, who were failed asylum claimants with no permission to work and a 31-year-old man who had entered the UK illegally.

They are all now in detention while steps are taken to remove them from the UK.

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