Nine people have been arrested at a popular restaurant in the centre of Chinatown in Manchester following UK immigration raids.
Four male and five female Chinese nationals are being held following a raid at Pearl City in Manchester. All of those arrested, aged between 27 and 47, are suspected of working in the country illegally and have been detained pending removal from Britain.
According to the Home Office, the restaurant is now facing a fine of up to £180,000, which includes a £20,000 fine for each individual working illegally, unless they can provide evidence that correct document checks were carried out prior to their employment.
These checks include being shown a valid passport or a Home Office document that provides they have permission to work in Britain.
In response to the arrests, Pearl City stated that new manager Frankie Lee had only recently taken over the restaurant and had not yet had the time to review paperwork for employees. Mr Lee added: “We regret this has happened.”
A spokesman has revealed that five of those arrested have already been found to have entered the UK illegally, while the other four have overstayed their UK visas.
Commenting on the case, Adam San of Manchester’s Immigration Enforcement team, added: “Employers should remember to carry out simple ‘right to work’ checks before they employ staff.”
“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law will be found and will face a heavy financial penalty.”