Four people detained after immigration officials swoop on Chinese restaurant
FOUR people have been detained after immigration officials swooped on a Chinese takeaway in Belfast today.
The three men and one women are now awaiting deportation at a UK Border Agency detention centre in Larne.
The men, aged between 20 and 37, and the 39-year-old woman are all of Chinese origin.
They were found to be working illegally at the New Century take-out on Belmont Road in the east of the city.
It was discovered that the woman and one of the men had over-stayed their visas. The other two men were found to be working without permission.
All four were living in accommodation above the business premises.
In a statement issued today, the UK Border Agency said its officers had been acting on intelligence.
Spokeswoman Janet Wiseman said: "Foreign nationals who are in this country illegally should be in no doubt that they will be found, arrested and removed from the UK.
"Companies that think they can undercut competitors by employing illegal workers should be warned that they will face heavy fines and possible prosecution.
"We are sending a simple, clear message to people who are in the country illegally - more raids are planned and you will be caught."
The New Century takeaway has been issued with a civil penalty notice for employing the illegal workers and could now face a fine of £40,000.
If the employers are unable to provide evidence that legally-required checks were carried out before giving them a job - such as asking for a passport or a Home Office document - they may be liable for a £10,000 penalty for each illegal worker.