Raids in Chichester for illegal immigrant investigation

A Chichester restaurant and property were raided as part of an investigation into illegal immigrant workers.

Five people were arrested after the raids were carried out by the UK Border Agency this week.

The Fortune Inn and Interwok in Worthing’s Chapel Road were targeted, as well as the Fortune Inn at Chichester Gate Leisure Park by Stockbridge Road.

A raid on a property in Grove Road, Chichester, found 28 beds in a two-bedroom house being used by restaurant staff.

A 35-year-old man believed to be the manager at Interwok has been arrested and bailed, along with two Chinese men, who are being detained ahead of deportation. Bunk beds for restaurant staff were found by officers above the shop.

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old Chinese man is being held after the raid at the Fortune Inn in Worthing. A quantity of cash was also found at an address in Worthing linked to one of the takeaways.

And a 27 year-old man, also from China, is awaiting deportation following a raid on another Fortune Inn in Goring. None of the arrests were made in Chichester.

Glenn Taylor, from the UK Border Agency’s South East Immigration Crime Team, said: “The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of illegal workers to businesses in Sussex.

“Where we find people who are in the UK illegally, we will seek to remove them. But we also want to send out a strong message to employers.

“It is the legal responsibility of all businesses to check their employees have the right to work in the UK. Those who don’t could face big fines or, ultimately, prosecution.”

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “These raids show we have stepped up action to tackle serious and organised abuse of our immigration system. The message is clear - the UK is no longer an easy touch.

“This summer we are targeting our efforts on breaking up the gangs behind visa scams; hitting rogue employers who repeatedly break the rules and doing more than ever to stop unwanted people coming to the UK.”

Those found employing illegal immigrants can be fined up to £10,000 per worker.