A Chinese restaurant has been raided by immigration officers for the second time in five months.

Eleven suspected illegal immigrant workers were arrested by UK Border Agency officials after they raided China China in Preston Street, Brighton.

Six of the suspected illegal immigrants arrested yesterday were the same workers caught by officials in the previous raid in October last year.

An eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said he saw a man run off down the street and another pinned to the floor by officials.

He said: “One guy managed to run off and I also saw a ladder being pulled out of the immigration van to get on the roof. A few officers kept on looking up to the roof so maybe one went up there.

“The guy who lives upstairs above China China apparently said there were loads of them.”

A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that one suspect was found hiding in the basement while two others were found on the roof of the restaurant.

The owner of China China, which is one of Brighton’s best known Chinese restaurants, now faces a potential fine of £110,000 on top of the £55,000 fine he received when his business was first raided.

Officials swooped at about 12.20pm after turning up in an unmarked blue van.

The only distinguishing feature was a note on the dashboard with the Home Office logo stating: “UK Agency Officer on Official Business.”

In October last year 12 suspected illegal immigrant workers were arrested by the UK Border Agency in a similar raid. Eleven were found to be illegal and the restaurant’s owner was put under investigation and fined £5,000 per illegal worker.

This time he faces a bigger fine of £10,000 per worker if they are found to be illegal.

Hugh Ind, UK Border Agency area director, said: “We are working hard to pull the plug on the illegal jobs which lure immigrants to come to the UK.

“Illegal working is unfair on honest employers who recruit staff with the right to work in the UK and who pay them a proper salary.

“Employers who don’t play by the rules will get struck off our register, lose the right to recruit staff from outside Europe, face on the spot fines and could potentially end up in jail.”

The Argus called China China yesterday but received no reply or comment.