One of Brighton’s most popular restaurants is facing a £120,000 fine and could even lose its licence after six illegal workers were found there by the Home Office.
Officials from the immigration compliance and enforcement team visited Donatello on Wednesday 9 November and found one Russian man, four Uzbekistani men and a woman from the Ivory Coast working there without the correct visas.
The restaurant has now been given a notice telling it that it could be fined up to £120,000 and the Home Office has asked Brighton and Hove City Council to review its licence.
The Uzbekistani men are being detained while the other two workers have been released on immigration bail.
Donatello said: “It is correct that an application for review of the Donatello premises licence has been lodged with the council.
“This application is based on a number of allegations that we categorically deny and we are confident that the review will result in no action being taken.
“As the matter is now the subject of the review proceedings we will be making no further comment.”
The Home Office said: “The government is tackling illegal immigration and the harm it causes by removing those with no right to be in the UK.
“We continue to work with law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal migration in all its forms.”
The family which runs Donatello, in Brighton Place, has been rocked by the murder of co-founder Sue Addis last year and the death of her former husband Pietro earlier this year.
The council’s licensing register said that the review was “on the grounds of prevention of crime and disorder”.
Comments on the application are open until Thursday 15 December.
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