Restaurant owners have been warned about employing illegal immigrants, after three directors of a top Liverpool Chinese restaurant were fined a total of £108,000 for breaching immigration regulations.
Shum Koon Mou, 65, his wife Shum Tan Ling, 49, and Ip Heung Chung, 43 – all directors of the Chung Ku restaurant on Liverpool’s waterfront – admitted breaking immigration laws when they appeared before Liverpool Crown Court.
The court heard that the directors had taken on and housed 11 illegal Chinese immigrants, but had paid them as little as £2 an hour in cash to work in the kitchens.
Evidence was given that a police raid on a terraced house in Liverpool found the workers living in poor conditions, with 10 workers living in one room, sleeping in bunk beds.
Police interviews then showed that some of the men had arrived illegally by lorry, using false papers. One man had paid £18,000 to people-smugglers and had only repaid £3,000.
After the case was heard, a police spokeswoman said that the outcome should act as a warning to other restaurant owners that they should comply with employment and immigration regulations.