NINE 'ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS' GO MISSING; Police Slammed over 'Hearsay Evidence' as Case Collapses

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Byline: By ELWYN ROBERTS

BORDER officials lost track of nine alleged illegal immigrants after raids at two North Wales restaurants.

The Chinese nationals were arrested by police and immigration officials who raided the Dragon Boat I and II in Rhyl in December. They were interviewed by immigration officials and put on reporting restrictions, similar to bail, so they had to report to a police station. But when the owners of the restaurants appeared in court yesterday, it emerged the nine had "disappeared".

All charges against Kenny Poh, 43, of High Street, Rhyl, and his brother Tiang Heng Poh, 50, of Queen's Street, Rhyl, were dropped.

They had been charged with providing employment and accommodation to nine people alleged to be illegal immigrants.

But the Pohs' lawyers said they had no idea people working in the restaurants were in the UK illegally, and the quality of the prosecution evidence meant they couldn't have a fair trial.

They said they'd had to close the restaurants because of the false allegations, and they'd maintained their innocence.

Sitting at Mold Crown Court, Judge Philip Hughes said the nine people involved in the charges upon which the trial would have rested were not available to give evidence - they had "disappeared"after being interviewed and bailed.

The judge said he was concerned about the quality of the investigation into the case, and refused to let "hearsay" evidence be produced by the prosecution. …