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Esher restaurant faces £40k fine after immigration raid
An Esher restaurant could face a fine of £40,000 after four people were found to be working illegally.
La Orient, in High Street, was visited by officers from the Home Office immigration and enforcement team on Friday, September 13, after receiving information some workers might not have the right to work in the UK.
The team visited the restaurant at 2.15pm and three workers, who were all Chinese nationals, were arrested.
A 22-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were found to have overstayed their visas and a 32-year-old woman had entered the UK illegally.
Another 45-year-old man, who had also entered the country illegally, had breached his immigration bail conditions and was told to leave the restaurant.
The three workers who were arrested were taken to immigration detention and face being removed from the country.
The restaurant was served a notice warning of a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless they can prove the correct right-to-work checks.
Chi Yeung, manager of La Orient, said the workers were students whose visas had expired and was not prepared to make any further comment.
Paul Smith, from the Thames Valley and Surrey Home Office immigration enforcement team, said: “Illegal working is not a victimless crime. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“We are sending a clear message to employers in Surrey who choose to use illegal labour: we will find you and you will pay a heavy penalty. We will not allow the growth of a shadow economy for illegal migrants.
“We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face financial penalties.”
Home Office workers also visited Blue Mint Indian Restaurant, Epsom and arrested three men.
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