Seven arrested in Blackpool takeaway swoops

IMMIGRATION raids have left Fylde coast takeaways with a potential £60,000 bill.

Working on tip-offs from the public, officers from the UK Border Agency raided three fast food restaurants to check staff documents and question those working there.

Seven Chinese nationals were arrested during the operation, which were carried out on Wednesday.

In one premises, a man was found hiding under the bed – though officers could not prove he was working illegally.

The man in charge of the operation, Neil Holt, said: "We are working hard to pull the plug on the illegal jobs which lure illegal immigrants to come to the UK in the first place.

"Illegal working is unfair on honest employers who recruit staff with the right to work in the UK and who pay them a proper salary.

"Employers who don't play by the rules face fines and could potentially end up in jail."

Officers raided the South Sea Takeaway on Lytham Road, South Shore, where one Chinese man was arrested.

A Notice of Potential Liability (NOPL) was served, which could land owners with a fine of 10,000.

The man was released on immigration bail pending inquiries.

Furamar Chinese Takeaway on Normoss Road, Normoss, was also targeted and two Chinese men arrested. Notice was served of a potential fine of 10,000.

One of the men was found hiding under a bed upstairs but there was insufficient evidence of him working illegally to add a fine.

Both were released on immigration bail while the investigation is carried out.

While at the restaurant, police officers working with the UK Border Agency seized 1,300 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

At Wok Wow takeaway on Westcliffe Drive, Layton, four more Chinese men were arrested.

One was held, pending removal from the country, while three others were placed on immigration bail. A notice was served for a

potential fine of 40,000.

Again police officers attached to the UK Border Agency seized 2,050.

Border protection chiefs will now seek to document and remove people from the country as quickly as possible.

The affected premises have 28 days to provide evidence that correct right-to-work checks were carried out or face a fine of up to 10,000 per illegal worker.