Three employees have been caught working illegally during raids on two addresses in Cheshire.
Intelligence was sent through to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) immigration enforcement team, who took action and visited the Wok & Go restaurant on Northgate, Chester, and the Ming Hua restaurant in Ellesmere Port.
At the first address the team found two Chinese men with no right to work in the UK on the restaurant's staff. The first was a 22-year-old who had overstayed his UK visa, while the second was a 43-year-old asylum seeker. Over at the Ellesmere Port address they found a 47-year-old man who had made his way into the country illegally and had no right to employment.
All three people have been arrested and are being held in immigration detention until steps can be taken to remove them from Britain.
Meanwhile, the businesses are facing substantial fines in light of the arrests. Both companies will be served with notices for employing illegal workers, but if they want to avoid fines of up to £10,000 for each illegal employee they will need to supply evidence that they carried out the legally-required pre-employment checks before taking on the workers. The checks can be as simple as asking to see a passport or proof of residency form from the Home Office.
Colin Berrington, from the UKBA's Cheshire immigration enforcement team, commented: "We are determined to stamp out abuse of the immigration system. We want the public to contact us if they have any information on businesses or people who are breaking immigration law.
"Employers who take on illegal workers are both fuelling illegal immigration and undercutting businesses which play by the rules."