Acting on intelligence, officers visited Delphi Food Products on Grenville Road in Upper Holloway at around 11.30 on October 4, where they carried out checks on staff to see if they had the right to work in the UK.
Eight Indian men, aged between 21 and 30, three Indian women aged between 23 and 26, and a Sri Lankan man aged 52 were all arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally, having over-stayed their visas.
Seven of those arrested were detained pending their removal from the UK. The remainder were granted immigration bail and will have to report regularly to the UK Border Agency while the Agency takes steps to remove them.
£10,000 fine per illegal worker
Delphi Foods will be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless it provides the UK Border Agency with evidence that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out on them.
The UK Border Agency’s assistant director Steve Fisher, said: “This operation was extremely successful and I hope action like this sends out the message that we will not tolerate illegal working.”
Delphi Foods manufactures Mediterranean specialties such as chilled dips, salads, marinated olives, Greek yogurt, cheeses and various tapas products.
When FoodManufacture.co.uk contacted Delphi Foods for comment on the Border Agency raid, a spokeswoman said: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
More raids planned
Fisher said: “Employers who take on illegal workers are both fuelling illegal immigration and damaging the majority of legitimate north London businesses who play by the rules.
“This is why we have the power to hit those who break the law with heavy fines and more operations like this are planned.”
Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies that fail to carry out proper right-to-work checks on staff.
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/advice-for-employers or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Meanwhile, earlier this month Kent Police arrested two people in a dawn raid after allegations that Lithuanian men working in the food industry were held in slave-like conditions and forced to work in the food industry.