The owner of the Mandarin Karma restaurant, which was last night raided by immigration enforcement officers, has pledged that the business will operate as usual as the owners “fully co-operate with the authorities.”
Well known Derry businessman Stan Lee made the comments as Home Office officials confirmed that four men are being held following an operation at the premises on Lower Clarendon Street yesterday evening.
A Home Office spokesperson said that the owners of the popular Derry venue are now facing a stiff financial penalty in the wake of yesterday’s events.
In a Home Office statement issued to the Journal the full details of what took place were confirmed.
“Acting on intelligence, officers visited Mandarin Karma at 9.15pm yesterday and questioned staff to check if they had the right to be and work in the UK. Officers arrested four Chinese men for immigration offences.
Two, aged 27 and 37, were suspected of having entered the country illegally, a 26-year-old had overstayed his visa, and a 50-year-old was a failed asylum claimant working illegally. A fifth person, a 42-year-old Chinese man, who had no permission to work in the UK was escorted from the premises.
“The arrested men are in Home Office detention pending removal from the country. The other man must now report to the Home Office while his case is progressed. If it is found that he has no right to be in the UK he will also be
“The Mandarin Karma was served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a
potential total of £80,000.”
Deputy Director Mike Golden, from the Home Office’s Northern Ireland Immigration Enforcement Team, said:
“These arrests are a clear warning to those in Northern Ireland abusing our immigration laws. There will be no slowdown in our efforts to arrest, detain and remove you from the UK.
“Employers who use illegal labour are defrauding the taxpayer, undercutting genuine employers and denying legitimate job hunters work. Information from the public can be a huge help in our work and I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”