TWO restaurants in Oxfordshire face potential fines of £60,000 for employing illegal workers following raids by immigration enforcement officers.

Acting on intelligence, officials from the Home Office visited Chef Imperial in High Street, Woodstock, and Mazza Cafe and Restaurant in Cowley Road, Oxford.

At Chef Imperial, which was raided at 12.30pm on Tuesday, March 11, officers arrested three people: a Chinese man, 32, and Malaysian man, 39, who had both entered the country illegally, and a 35-year-old Brazilian woman who had overstayed her visa.

A 44-year-old Chinese woman, who had also entered the country illegally, was found working but not arrested.

At Mazza, which was visited at 3pm, officers arrested two Pakistani men.

One, aged 29, was working in breach of his visa conditions while the other, aged 37, had overstayed his visa.

All those arrested were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the UK, apart from the Chinese nationals found working illegally at Chef Imperial.

They have been placed on immigration bail and will also be removed from the country if found to have no leave to remain. 

The Home Office only released the details today. 

The businesses were served notices warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.