Arrests after raids in Lurgan and Tandragee Chinese takeaways

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A Chinese national has been arrested at a Lurgan takeaway for overstaying his visa.

In the intelligence-led operation, Immigration Enforcement Officers arrested the 27-year-old in the Golden Palace in Edward Street on November 25.

During the same operation they visited the Golden Peony on Tandragee’s Portadown Road.

A 35-year-old Chinese man who was an illegal entrant to the UK was also arrested. He has since left the UK voluntarily.

These two business in Co Armagh were one of a number raided by immigration officers across Northern Ireland. They could face fines totally £140k.

Other premises visited included China’s Finest, Windmill Street, in Ballynahinch and Peking Garden, Cross Street, in Killyleagh.

At China’s Finest a 51-year-old Chinese man who was an illegal entrant to the UK and has no permission to work was removed from the premises.

A 28-year-old Chinese man who was an illegal entrant to the UK was arrested after he was found working at Peking Garden.

Officers visited Hong Kong, Shankill Road, Belfast. Three Chinese men were found working illegally. The businesses were each served a referral notice in relation to the illegal workers. The notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out. If proof is not provided this is a potential total of up to £20,000 for Golden Peony, Golden Palace, China’s Finest and Peking Garden.

The potential total for Hong Kong is £60,000.

Mike Golden, from Immigration Enforcement, said: “Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties. Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime; it cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.”