Immigration officers swoop on cafe

A POPULAR Ipswich restaurant was shut today after a swoop by immigration officers investigating people believed to be working there illegally.Café Giardino in the Buttermarket Centre was closed after all today's swoop took staff away for questioning.

A POPULAR Ipswich restaurant was shut today after a swoop by immigration officers investigating people believed to be working there illegally.

Café Giardino in the Buttermarket Centre was closed after all today's swoop took staff away for questioning.

A spokesman for the Immigration Service confirmed five people were being questioned after the intelligence led swoop.

There was no one at the Ipswich café to comment on today's events – but prepared food could be seen through its closed windows.

Today's raid was the second at the café since it opened at Christmas 2001.

Immigration officers swooped there last summer and took away several members of staff, including several Brazilian nationals.

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"I feel very sorry for the company and the manager. They are a very well-run company and last time they had no idea the people were working illegally.

"They had false passports and spoke very good Italian – they convinced the Italian manager they were genuine," said Buttermarket Centre manager Colin Roberts.

"I felt very sorry for him. He had trained them up very well and had a good team there – and then he lost them all and he had no idea there was any problem with them," Mr Roberts said.

The manager left the café shortly after the summer raid, he added.

Café Giardino was founded in Bromley in Kent in 1992 and has opened a number of premises across the country.

There are cafés throughout England from Leeds to Southampton – and it is still expanding.

Weblink: www.giardinogroup.co.uk

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