Ten illegal workers caught at clothing business in raid

TEN illegal workers were caught at a clothing business during a raid by the UK Border Agency.

Acting on intelligence, officers from the Local Immigration Team for Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (East) visited Elder Jo Aka Textiles Ltd, Little Addington Business Park, shortly after 8am on Thursday last week (April 26).

Checks revealed that ten members of staff had no permission to work. All the illegal workers were men – eight from Nigeria and two from India – and had either overstayed their visas, entered the UK illegally or were working in breach of their visa conditions.

Two of the workers attempted to run, but were stopped by officers located at the rear of the premises.

Two of the Nigerians were deported on Wednesday (May 2).

Five others remain in UK Border Agency detention pending their removal from the country. The remaining Nigerian and both Indians have been released on immigration bail while work to remove them from the UK is carried out.

Elder Jo Aka Ltd now faces a potential fine of up to £100,000 - £10,000 per illegal worker – unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.

Immigration officer Sarah Norton, who led the operation, said: “Where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.

“But we are also targeting the employers who take on illegal workers and encourage illegal immigration in the process.

“We’re happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff. But those who choose to break the law should know that we are looking for them and they will face heavy fines.”

The UK Border Agency officers were accompanied on the raid by officers from Northamptonshire Police and HM Revenue & Customs.

Officers from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service were also called during the visit to investigate suspected breaches of fire safety at the business.