A TURKISH restaurant has had its licence revoked after failing to convince councillors it completed adequate immigration checks on workers.

Immigration Officers found three people working illegally at Mirra in Colchester High Street during an investigation in June.

Two of the workers told the officers they had not shown any documents ahead of starting work.

Another claimed he had not received any money as he was on trial whilst the other two workers told officers they were paid but it was found to be below the minimum wage.

Following the sting, Essex Police asked Colchester Council to review the business’s premises licence.

On Friday members of the council’s licensing committee said they were “not satisfied that adequate identification checks were carried out” after hearing evidence from both sides during a meeting.

Councillors weren’t convinced by the applicant the illegal workers had been registered to pay tax or were paid the minimum wage.

The committee’s decision said: “The sub-committee was not satisfied the illegal workers were on PAYE or were paid the minimum wage and the respondent did not bring evidence before the sub committee to refute the statements made by the detained illegal workers.

“The sub-committee consider the maintenance of the licensing objective of the prevention of crime has been undermined and for this reason considers it is necessary to revoke the premise holders licence.

“In reaching this decision the sub-committee has had regard to the twin considerations of prevention and deterrence.”

Dave Harris (Lab, Berechurch) chaired the sub-committee meeting.

He said: “This decision sends out a clear message to anybody who employs staff saying they need to make sure they do the right checks, not just adequate checks, but thorough checks, to make sure they are employing legal workers.

“Colchester Council takes a strong stance on making sure employers treat employees correctly and do the just thing.”

The restaurant’s owner has up to 21 days to appeal the decision to the magistrates court.