A RESTAURANT in Great Bentley faces a fine of up to £50,000 after employing five alleged illegal immigrants.
The Thai Flag now faces a fine unless it can prove the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.
Restaurant manager William Ng said: “At the moment we are still waiting to sort things out.
“But we believe we have the correct documentation and when they came to work I saw their documents.
“I believe they have permission to work in the UK, which is why I employed them.”
Mr Ng, who is originally from Hong Kong but has lived in the UK for 38 years, said the restaurant has only been open 14 weeks.
The UK Border Agency said a fine of up to £10,000 per worker can be imposed for every illegal worker found at a business.
Chief immigration officer Jack Davis said: “Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties.
“Employers who don’t play by the rules will get struck off our register, lose the right to recruit staff from outside Europe, face on the spot fines and could potentially end up in jail.”
The agency said a tough new civil penalty system was brought in last year to provide a fast and effective way of tackling bosses who fail to carry out proper checks on workers from outside Europe.
• Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.