Northern Ireland

Three Ballymoney Chinese takeaway workers detained

UK Border Agency jacket
Image caption The raid was carried out by the UK Border Agency

Three Chinese men working at a takeaway in Ballymoney have been detained by the UK Border Agency.

Border Agency officers questioned staff at the Jade Garden on Market Street on Thursday evening.

Following checks, three men aged from 21 to 34 were arrested for working illegally.

They are currently being detained while steps are taken to remove them from the UK. The Jade Garden has been issued with a civil penalty notice.

If the employers are unable to prove they conducted the correct pre-employment checks - such as asking for a passport or a Home Office document - they could be liable for a fine of up to £20,000.

Mike Golden, assistant director of the UK Border Agency in Northern Ireland, said: "This is the latest in a series of operations we've carried out to tackle immigration crime in Northern Ireland, and more are planned.

"Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

"Businesses which operate outside the law should be warned that they will be found and they will be punished."