Spice Bank Indian restaurant, March, CLEARED of any wrong doing after four staff released without penalty following immigration raid
PUBLISHED: 16:22 05 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:22 05 December 2016
Restaurant bosses were celebrating today after being cleared of all charges following a raid this summer by immigration officials.
The Spice Bank restaurant in High Street, March, had four workers taken away by the Home Office team in July and kept in custody for three weeks.
Three staff members were initially released after their paperwork was found to be in order.
Now the fourth member has been cleared and bosses spared possible fines of up to £20,000 for any worker found to be here illegally.
Restaurant manager Shah said: “I am very pleased this is all over and we can at last look forward to a happy Christmas.”
Although it has been business as usual for the busy restaurant (fresh staff was brought in) Shah says the £10,000 fine imposed could have crippled his small restaurant.
He was not at the restaurant on the night of the raid and said if he had been most of the paperwork issues connected with his staff could have been dealt with then.
Home Officials described the circumstances of the fourth man to be cleared as “finely balanced” but, following an appeal, accepted the restaurant’s innocence.
Shah said it involved an expired passport but his worker had forgotten to include provisional extensions meaning he was entitled to live and work in Britain.
A letter from the civil penalty compliance team told the restaurant of a successful appeal against the fixed penalty.
Shah says none of the workers have returned to March because they felt “shy” after the story was published.
However he has a new team, a new menu being prepared and a new head chef from Indian.
“I can assure you his paperwork is in order,” said Shah.
The 65-seater Spice Bank opened in September 2013 in the former Lloyds TSB premises next to St Peter’s Church.