IMMIGRATION raids in York detained seven people and left businesses facing penalties of up to £140,000.

Officers from Immigration Enforcement took part in simultaneous strikes at two businesses in the city last week, and found six people who failed immigration checks.

The raids took place at Regency Chinese Restaurant in Barbican Road, and Regency Chinese Restaurant and Supermarket in George Hudson Street at 7pm on Friday, September 8, which officials said were believed to be owned by the same people.

Six Chinese nationals, were found at the Barbican Road restaurant - three men, aged 28, 36 and 38, and a 35-year-old woman were all found to have overstayed their visas.

A 28-year-old woman was also found to have entered the UK illegally, and a 32-year-old man found at the site was a failed asylum seeker, officials said.

A 36-year-old Chinese woman found at the site in George Hudson Street was also found to be working in breach of her visa conditions.

A spokesman said all seven have been detained "while steps are taken to remove them from the UK".

The businesses were served civil penalty referral notices over the illegal workers, which could see them forced to pay up to £20,000 per illegal worker, unless they can present the appropriate right-to-work documentation for them. If the owners can not provide this proof, the business in Barbican road could have to pay up to £120,000, and the business in George Hudson Street up to £20,000.

David Harris, head of the Yorkshire and Humber Immigration Enforcement team, said the raids had been carried out following intelligence received from the community, and urged the public to contact them with any information about suspected immigration abuse.

He said: "This is a clear warning to those in Yorkshire abusing our immigration laws that, wherever you are in the country, our dedicated and well-resourced teams will find you.

"Using illegal labour is not victimless crime; it cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people. I urge anyone with specific and detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch."

Anyone with information should go to or phone Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.