A Vietnamese businessman has admitted housing and employing illegal immigrants at nail bars in Fife.
Tinh Van Nguyen appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court yesterday where he admitted facilitating breaches of immigration law on November 17 2016.
The 44-year-old hired and provided accommodation for four individuals who were not citizens of the European Union.
The people worked at US Nails on Durie Street in Leven at at T Nails Kirkcaldy on the town’s High Street.
Details of the offence were not read out to the court due to difficulties in securing a Vietnamese interpreter for the accused.
The case has been delayed on two occasions due to an translator not being present, despite being specifically requested by the court.
A plea was drafted by Nguyen and his defence team ahead of yesterday’s hearing and the charge amended.
He was originally charged with hiring and accommodating non-EU citizens between September 30 at November 17 in 2016.
He was also accused of breaching immigration law at Nail Icon on South Street in Perth and Royal Nails and Spa on St John’s Road in Edinburgh over the near two-month period.
But he pled guilty to an amended charge which related only to the salons in Kirkcaldy and Leven. The dates involved were also amended to just November 17.
He accepted that he facilitated the breach and knew or ought to have known that the four foreign nationals were not entitled to work in the UK.
Defence solicitor David McLaughlin said: “The plea was tendered on the basis that Mr Nguyen had no part whatsoever in how these people came to be in the country.
“The Crown accepts that. He essentially employed and housed these individuals and the conditions they were living and working in were good.
“He was providing a good level of care for them. This is a fairly novel offence and I think it is pretty important that that is conveyed to the court.
Sheriff Alastair Thornton said: “This is not overtly a people trafficking offence, it is a facilitation of a breach of immigration law.This is not in the area of servitude or slavery.”
He deferred sentence to allow for the preparation of background reports.
Nguyen, of St Brycedale Avenue in Kirkcaldy, will reappear at a later date.