A Preston-based halal chicken factory may face a fine of up to £60,000 after it was caught employing staff with no legal right to work in the UK, according to the UK Border Agency.
Officers from the agency raided Gafoor Poultry Products in Preston on November 5, and found six men aged between 24 and 32 from countries including Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. The workers were arrested for offences including illegal entry, working in breach of visa conditions and overstaying their visas, according to the agency.
“We will not tolerate illegal working - it undercuts British wages and exploits vulnerable workers. 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,” said Jo Liddy, north west regional director, UK Border Agency.
The agency said that the Preston-based business now faces fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker - £60,000 in total.
A Notice of Potential Liability will be served in relation to the illegal workers and the employer will have 28 days to provide agency with evidence that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out, otherwise it will face a fine.