Chinese restaurant owner jailed over immigration offences

15 February 2011 by
Chinese restaurant owner jailed over immigration offences

The owner of a string of Chinese restaurants in the Lake District and Scotland has been jailed for two years after he was found guilty of employing workers who had entered the country illegally.

Chi Lian Chen, 35, had already been warned twice by Border Agency officials who discovered him employing workers who had no right to be in the UK at his restaurant in Kendal in 2009. Further raids at other restaurants in Cumbria and Scotland found more illegal workers.

Chen pleased guilty to five counts of facilitation and harbouring of persons not entitled to be present in the UK. Not all employees of his restaurants were illegal immigrants.

Detective Sergeant Dave Stalker from the North West immigration crime team, UK Border Agency, said: "Mr Chen's conviction sends a clear message to those who think they can exploit people or disregard the law. Chen has earned a considerable amount of money through the exploitation of his staff and by avoiding taxes and National Insurance payments that other legitimate employers would have had to pay. Now he faces two years and a subsequent court hearing to establish how much money he needs to repay."

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By Neil Gerrard

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