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Five arrested in Norwich takeaway raid

PUBLISHED: 07:41 25 March 2011

The Wokaholic, in St Augustine's, Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith Copy: Simon Parkin For: EN news EN pics © 2004 (01603) 772434

The Wokaholic, in St Augustine's, Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith Copy: Simon Parkin For: EN news EN pics © 2004 (01603) 772434

Archant © 2004

Five staff members at a Chinese takeaway in Norwich were arrested during a Border Agency raid last week, it has emerged.

Wokaholic, on St Augustine’s Gate had to close for the evening after the raid last Thursday (March 17).

The business could be hit by a £50,000 fine.

The takeaway was visited by the local immigration team for Norfolk and check revealed that all five members of staff working that night were illegal immigrants from China.

A 32-year-old woman, who was working as front of house, had overstayed her visa. The others a 38-year-old woman and men aged 42, 38 and 23, were all failed asylum seekers and working in the kitchen.

The UK Border Agency is now seeking to remove them from the UK.

Immigration officer Liz Richardson said: “The revenue lost on the night of the raid means the business has already been hit in the pocket, but it could be facing an even bigger financial blow.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to carry out right-to-work checks before taking on foreign nationals. Those that break the law face fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.”

In order to avoid a potential fine of as much as £50,000 Wokaholic must now prove that it did conduct appropriate pre-employment checks.

• Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers or call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business in Norfolk can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Do you know anything about the raid? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or e-mail david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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