Processor faces fine for illegal labour

Management at a Lancashire chicken processing plant have been told they could face a fine of up to £250,000 after being found employing illegal immigrants.

The UK Border Agency, working with local police, raided Gafoor Poultry Products of Preston and found 27 illegal immigrants working - almost half of the total workforce. The illegal workers came from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iraq and Jordan.

Twelve of the workers have been granted temporary release pending further inquiries. The rest are being detained pending removal from the country.

Under immigration legislation, the company now has 28 days to show it carried out the correct checks to see if the workers were legal. If the checks were not made, then the company could face a fine of up to £10,000 per worker.

Chief immigration officer Gus MacDonald said in a media statement: "In cases where employers are found to be employing illegal workers, we often find they are also undercutting the minimum wage and bypassing health and safety laws.

"As long as there are illegal jobs, the UK will be an attractive place for illegal immigrants. That's why we have to put a stop to employers who don't play by the rules."

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