Suspected illegal workers found in Shaw

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date published: 19 January 2010

TEN Africans are due to appear in court charged with working illegally after a UK Border Agency swoop on a Shaw firm.

Eight people from Nigeria, and one each from the People’s Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, were arrested after the operation, at Shop Direct Group’s national distribution centre in Linney Lane.

The alleged illegals all worked for the national recruitment agency, Blue Arrow, and will appear at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court over the next three weeks, with the first case taking place tomorrow.

Regional director for the UK Border Agency in the North-West, Jo Liddy, told the Chronicle: “We can confirm that as part of a UK Border Agency intelligence-led operation, with the full co-operation, support and involvement of the employer, 10 individuals were encountered working illegally having submitted false documents on January 12.

“The success of this operation was in part due to close co-operation with the company involved, but where an employer knowingly employs people illegally we will take action against them.

“We will not tolerate illegal working. It leads to the exploitation of illegal immigrants who are frequently denied the minimum wage or forced to risk dangerous working conditions and undercutting the minimum wage.”

In a statement, Blue Arrow confirmed that 10 employees have been detained by the UK Border Agency for submitting fake documentation to gain employment.

It added: “Blue Arrow has worked in conjunction with UKBA throughout their investigation and we will continue to do so.

“We take the issue of illegal working seriously and wish to stress that throughout the exercise, our internal systems have been shown to be robust and as effective as is practicable.”