Two illegal workers caught in Banbridge

A Banbridge restaurant faces a heavy fine following an operation by a Home Office immigration enforcement team.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited Gaze Chinese restaurant, Banbridge, at 6pm last Thursday (March 13), and questioned staff to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

The restaurant, on Newry Street, was found to be employing two Chinese illegal workers.

Officers arrested the two men, a 46-year-old who had entered the country illegally and a 24-year-old who had overstayed his visa.

Both are now in Home Office detention while steps are taken to remove them from the country.

The business was served with a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out, a potential total of £20,000.

Assistant Director Mike Golden, from the Home Office’s Northern Ireland Immigration Enforcement Team, said: “We are working hard to track down people breaking the UK’s immigration laws and carry out regular operations across Northern Ireland.

“Illegal working is not a victimless crime. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.

“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.”

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

For more information and contact details for Home Office Immigration Enforcement teams in Northern Ireland visit: