TWO takeaway restaurants in Oxford could be slapped with combined fines of more than £200,000 after members of staff were arrested in an immigration raid.

Chinese eateries Hong Kong House in Summertown and Oriental Express in Cowley could be ordered to pay £120,000 and £100,000 respectively after several staff members were arrested last week.

Immigration Enforcement officers raided the two businesses and arrested 11 people in total. They have been taken to a Home Office detention centre.

Assistant director Carol Scarr, head of the West Midlands Immigration Enforcement team, said using illegal labour ‘cheats’ the taxpayer and ‘undercuts’ honest business.

Immigration checks found six Malaysian nationals ‘working illegally’ at Hong Kong House, in Suffolk House, Banbury Road.

Those arrested included five men aged between 24 and 47, and a 22-year-old woman, who Immigration Enforcement said ‘had all overstayed their visitor visas’.

At Oriental Express, based on the outside of Templars Square Shopping Centre in Between Towns Road, officers arrested five men including three Indonesian nationals, aged 26, 28 and 30, a 22-year-old Malaysian national and a 36-year-old Nepalese national who had ‘overstayed their visa’.

The Home Office said both businesses had been served with a civil penalty referral notice warning that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker arrested could be imposed.

The companies can avoid paying the fines if the employers can demonstrate appropriate right-to-work document checks have been carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work.

Ms Scarr said: “Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties.

“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law will be found and will be punished.

“Using illegal labour is not victimless. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest businesses and cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.

“We robustly pursue debts owed by employers of illegal immigrants.”

The Home Office steps were being taken to remove those arrested from the UK.

The Mail understands Hong Kong House reopened after the raid on Friday. It is not known if Oriental Express has continue trading.

The businesses were contacted but were unable to be reached for comment.