A RESTAURANT boss says he has been left humiliated after immigration officials raided his business during peak evening trade.
Tahim Khalid believes a rival Indian called the Home Office to report illegal workers were among the staff at his Mumbai restaurant and takeaway, which opened five weeks ago in the basement of the Best Western Grand Hotel in Victoria Road.
He was left furious after officers carried out checks in front of customers during Thursday night, with his anger rising after he said racist comments were left online after a photograph was uploaded of the Government van outside the premises.
Mr Ahmed, who employs seven people at the venue which he owns with his father Syed Khalid Miah Olid, said: “I was embarrassed, it clearly in front of customers.
“I was born in this country, I’ve paid my taxes and I’ve been here my 26 years.
“I didn’t feel like a citizen on Thursday.
“All the people who work here are British.”
He stressed the business has never employed anyone illegally.
Despite being angry about the checks, the business has since said it welcomed the officers in as it says it runs a reputable operation and has done at various locations for more than a decade.
Posting on Facebook, its spokesman said: “We can not legislate for underhanded tricks or over zealous competitors.
“We will however, try our hardest to please every single person who enters our establishment.
“Mumbai at The Grand Hotel I would also like to thank all of the support that we have received, it means a lot.”
The business also runs the Mumbai restaurant in Haswell Plough, Goa restaurant in Sunderland and Khalid Caterers in Sunderland and Spennymoor.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Where we receive information about suspected immigration abuse we will investigate and, if necessary, take further action.
“All our enforcement visits are intelligence-led and timed to maximise their effectiveness.”
He added all staff at Mumbai were cleared to work in the UK, with no arrests made, and the visit was carried out with the full cooperation of the Best Western hotel management.