An Indian restaurant in a Norfolk town is facing closure after the Home Office requested that its premises licence be revoked over modern-day slavery concerns. 

The Raj in Loddon was raided by an immigration enforcement team as part of an "intelligence-led" operation in October and two men were arrested.

The Home Office has now recommended that the restaurant's premises licence be taken away due to its employment of illegal workers. 

A report to South Norfolk Council said: "Merely remedying the existing situation is insufficient to act as a deterrent to the licence holder from engaging in criminal activity. This business has clearly failed to meet the prevention of crime and disorder objective.

"Whether by negligence or wilful blindness, illegal workers were engaged in activity on the premises."

The investigation found there were two illegal workers at the premises, out of a total of four staff members, at the time of the raid. 

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The manager, Mohammed Uddin, admitted he had not completed the required checks to ensure the employees had the right to work in the UK. The Home Office also found that he compensates his workers by giving them food, rather than financial payment. 

The report added that this is "effectively modern-day slavery" - regardless of whether there was willingness from the employees to carry out the work - but Mr Uddin said this was the restaurant's policy for trainees. 

Eastern Daily Press: The Raj Indian Restaurant in LoddonThe Raj Indian Restaurant in Loddon (Image: Denise Bradley)Following the raid, Mr Uddin said: "The people arrested were not working at my restaurant and they were coming in for cleaning just for one or two hours, and that was when they raided. 

"The arrests were a mistake and I am working with my solicitor to challenge the review of my licence and the arrests.

"We are an honest hardworking business and love serving the people of our town and will fight this unfair decision."  

South Norfolk Council will review the licence, in light of the Home Office's recommendations, on March 15.