Illegal workers arrested in immigration raid

Six illegal workers were arrested after a UK Border Agency raid on a food factory in Houghton Regis last night.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 22nd June 2011, 11:41 am

More than 60 officers, supported by Bedfordshire Police and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, stormed into Honeytop Speciality Foods in Verey Road, on the Woodside Industrial Estate at around 9pm.

Around 200 people working the night shift were individually taken through immigration checks and six workers were detained.

They were taken to Dunstable Police Station before being transported to an immigration removal centre.

Simon Excell, deputy director for UK Border Agency midlands and east region, had expected more illegal workers at the site.

He said last night: “It’s a disappointing result, I’ll be honest with you. But it sends a very strong message that we will deal with illegal workers in big or small companies.”

Honeytop supply major UK retailers, including McDonalds, and provide naan breads for the Sharwoods brand.

The firm could face fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker if prosecuted.

But owner of the company, William Eid, said he believed the raid would not affect Honeytops “first class” reputation.

He told Luton Today: “We are a little bit surprised by it but we have nothing to hide and we will co-operate entirely and completely with the border agency.

“Our reputation is first class so I’m not expecting it to be tarnished in any way.”

For a full report on the raid and more pictures of all the action, see tomorrow’s Herald&Post.