Probe into fire at takeaway hours after immigration raid

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Police are investigating a group of youths who set fire to the storage unit of a Chinese takeaway just hours after the main restaurant was targeted in an immigration raid.

Treasure Cottage on Saughton Mains Gardens was stormed by enforcement officers on Wednesday night who found five Chinese men aged between 20 and 42 years old allegedly working illegally.

Youths target storage unit of Treasure Cottage Chinese takeaway in Saughton.

Youths target storage unit of Treasure Cottage Chinese takeaway in Saughton.

The raid, sparked by intelligence fed to the Home Office, reportedly found that a 20-year-old had overstayed his visit visa, a 31-year-old was working illegally and the other three had entered the UK illegally.

The 31-year-old was handed over to Police Scotland to be dealt with on an unrelated matter and the other four have been detained by Immigration Enforcement while steps are taken to remove them from the country. So Rice, another Chinese takeaway, on Gorgie Road was also raided where officers found two Chinese nationals, a 29-year-old woman, who was arrested and a 42-year-old man who has been ordered to report to Immigration Enforcement regularly while his case is progressed.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Both businesses were served a referral notice in relation to the illegal workers arrested.

“The notice warns that a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out.”

Treasure Cottage could be hit with a £100,000 if owners fail to provide proof.

Shortly after the Saughton Mains raid, a blaze broke out in a vacant unit adjacent to the restaurant which was used by the takeaway for storage.

Reports suggest a large group of youths seen in the area on Wednesday night stole crates of juice from the store before setting light to some cardboard boxes resulting in a large fire in the unit.

Roads into the area were closed as fire crews forced entry through the front of the property to tackle the blaze.

Most of the damage was confined to the vacant unit but a full assessment is being carried out.

Fire crews assisted in dampening down the fire and removing burnt debris.

Police have confirmed that nobody was injured in the blaze.

Initial reports indicate no accelerant to have been used but a full investigation is being carried out by the police.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “There will be an increase in high visibility patrols in the area over the coming nights as part of the ongoing investigating.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to speak to an officer or can contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 3353 of 18th October, or report this anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Local residents concerned about the levels of anti-social behaviour in the area have called for something to be done to address the problem.

One said: “I’m sick of them terrorising our neighbourhood.

“I’m young myself and I have a younger sister who’s not allowed out due to these teenagers, who are out of control.

“This is our neighbourhood and something needs to change and fast.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk