A restaurant has had its licence revoked after immigration officers discovered three staff members were working in the UK illegally.

Zara’s Indian Cuisine in Steeple Road, Mayland, had its licence revoked by Maldon District Council after a meeting last week.

Councillors heard the Home Office had removed the staff from the business in June.

The restaurant could also stand to lose around £60,000 as a penalty for employing the trio as kitchen staff.

A spokesman for Maldon District Council, said: “Having regard to the representations received and the information presented by interested parties at the hearing, the committee felt it was necessary, in the interests of promoting the licensing objective for the prevention of crime and disorder, that the premises licence be revoked.”

All three staff members were arrested and taken to Chelmsford police station.

Two remained in custody while one was returned to the restaurant that night.

Following the warrant, Essex Police called for the business' licence to be revoked.

A statement from Essex Police said: "Essex Police treat the employment of illegal workers at licensed premises very seriously and find this practice unacceptable.

"The premises license holder himself or through its agents have engaged in criminal activity by employing illegal workers and facilitating disqualified immigrants to work illegally."

When immigration officers exercised the warrant, they found two of the kitchen staff were working unpaid.

They were instead working to receive food and to live upstairs, inside the building.

The other member of staff was paid just £50 per week in cash, however, it is unknown if there was any agreement for food and accommodation.

While questioning the men, one submitted he had four children in Bangladesh, and his mother lived in the UK.

A kitchen porter was just 19-years-old, having moved to England a year and a half ago.

The officer's interview notes from the warrant revealed when asked who the man was paid by, one said; "Hasan".

A duty manager had initially agreed to interview voluntarily also, however, when the interview begun they suddenly refused.

The business was owned and run by Zara Essex Limited at the time the warrant was executed.

A letter from Palmers Solicitors, representing Shebul Hasan, now the holder of the restaurant's license, said the illegal staff members were employed by the business' previous owner.

The letter said: "Mr Hasan at all material times was not the legal operator of the business, had no economic stake in the running of the business save as is inherent by the interest in the premises as a tenant of the freeholder and licensor of Zara Essex Limited."

The Standard attempted to contact the restaurant on a number of occasions, however, it did not receive a reply before the paper went to print.