Trio of Chinese men held after raid on Co Antrim restaurant

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Three Chinese men are awaiting removal from the country after being caught working illegally in Northern Ireland.

The trio – aged 50, 43 and 41 – were arrested when Home Office officials swooped on The Royal Thai restaurant on Antrim Road, Glengormley, on Thursday.

The raid followed a tip-off.

Mike Golden, from Immigration Enforcement in Northern Ireland said: “We are working hard to counter illegal working and those who abuse the UK’s immigration system.

“Using illegal labour is not a victimless crime. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts businesses who ply an honest trade and deprives legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.”

Owners of The Royal Thai could face a possible £60,000 fine if they fail to prove that appropriate right to work checks were carried out.

Mr Golden added: “There are simple checks employers can carry out to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences.

“We expect everyone here illegally to leave the UK voluntarily; for those who don’t the message is clear. We will find, detain and remove you.”

The three men have been taken to an immigration detention centre pending their removal from Northern Ireland.