Restaurant owner faces illegal worker charges

THE OWNER of a Chinese restaurant in Ipswich set off a fire alarm to frustrate the efforts of police and immigration officials who raided the premises searching for illegal immigrant workers, it has been alleged.

Jane Hunt

THE OWNER of a Chinese restaurant in Ipswich set off a fire alarm to frustrate the efforts of police and immigration officials who raided the premises searching for illegal immigrant workers, it has been alleged.

As the alarm went off members of staff started taking off the hats and jackets they were wearing as part of their uniform and tried to make their escape from the Temptations Chinese Buffet in the town's Carr Street, it was claimed at Ipswich Crown Court.

Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, said the jury would be shown footage from CCTV cameras at the premises which captured the scenes as police officers and immigration officials entered the premises.


You may also want to watch:


Before the court are Phing Pun, 47,and his wife Kim Wong, 46, of Penn Close, Capel St Mary, and their son Yung Pun, 28, and daughters Siow Chee Pun, 24, and Siow Yin Pun, 27, all of Silk Street, Ipswich. Also before the court is Ai Ong, 41, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, who has been described as a “trusted friend” of the family.

Phing Pun, Kim Wong, Yung Pun, Ai Ong and Siow Yin Pun have all denied conspiring to facilitate the breach of UK immigration law.

Most Read

Phing Pun, Siow Yin Pun, Ai Ong and Siow Chee Pun have all denied conspiring to sell goods which infringe copyright and trademark.

Phing Pun, Kim Wong, Siow Yin Pun, Yung Pun and Ai Ong have each denied charges of converting criminal property.

Phing Pun has also denied obtaining a �198,000 money transfer by deception while his son has denied an offence of fraud.

Mr Khalil told the court that the main focus of the case concerned the employment, housing and exploitation of illegal migrant workers for the financial benefit of the defendants.

He alleged that Phing Pun and his family employed illegal immigrant workers at two restaurants they owned in Ipswich - the Temptation Chinese Buffet in Carr Street and the Lucky Star Takeaway in Hawthorn Drive.

He said that police and immigration officials carried out raids at the premises in October, 2007, and March, 2008, and allegedly discovered a number of illegal workers.

He claimed that the workers were housed in two properties in Silk Street, Ipswich, which had been purchased by Phing Pun and Yung Pun with money allegedly obtained by fraudulent mortgage applications.

Photgraphs of bunk beds and mattresses on the floors of the premises and rails holding restaurant uniforms which were allegedly used by the illegal workers were shown to the court as well as images of workers hiding under counters and in a loft during a raid at the Lucky Star Takeaway.

Mr Khalil also claimed that Ong and members of the Pun family were involved in the sale of counterfeit goods through shop premises called Temptations Accessories Ltd in Ipswich and Colchester.

The trial continues today (Thurs).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter