Ipswich: Restaurant sale of former Temptation Chinese Buffet in Carr Street may help pay court order

IPSWICH: A restaurant owner who was jailed for employing illegal workers is trying to sell the premises to help pay a �322,000 court order.

Kim Tai Wong, who ran the Temptation Chinese Buffet in Carr Street with her husband Phing Woon Pun, was jailed for 30 months in 2010 after a jury found her guilty of conspiring to breach UK immigration laws and converting criminal property.

In addition Wong, 47, of Penn Close, Capel St Mary, was made the subject of a �322,000 confiscation order.

During the trial the court heard that immigration officers who raided the Temptation Chinese Buffet and the Lucky Star Takeaway in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, discovered 20 Malaysian and Chinese illegal immigrants working at the premises.

Phing Woon Pun was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of conspiring to breach UK immigration laws, conspiring to sell goods which infringed copyright and trademark, obtaining a �198,000 money transfer by deception and converting criminal property.

Pun, 49, also of Penn Close, Capel St Mary, was made the subject of a �683,370 confiscation order and the court was told he would have to sell assets including business interests, property and cars in order to pay.

At a hearing last month the court heard that since the confiscation order was made in June last year, Pun had only paid �146,970. His case was adjourned until May 23 for further progress to be made in identifying and selling his assets.

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At Wong’s hearing her lawyer, Hugh Rowland, said a house she owned in Penn Close was in the process of being sold and it was hoped that after the mortgage had been repaid there would be �78,000 left.

He said the restaurant premises in Carr Street were also on the market and an offer for �580,000 had been received in the last few days.

He said the outstanding debt on the restaurant was �540,000 which would leave a net equity of �40,000 if the sale went through at that price.

He invited the court to adjourn Wong’s hearing to allow progress to be made on the sales of the two properties

Judge Thompson agreed to put off Wong’s case until May 23 to enable the two cases to be heard together.