Staff arrested in raid for ‘working illegally’

Sword Construction EMN-150911-083556001
Sword Construction EMN-150911-083556001
  • Firm says ‘right to work’ checks are ‘always’ carried out

A Brigg firm could face fines of up to £400,000 over illegal workers.

Home Office immigartion enforcement officers have raided a construction site in Cheshire and arrested 20 Indian men employed by sub-contractor Sword Construction, based at Island Carr Industrial Estate.

Sword Construction says it has now launched its own “thorough internal investigation”.

In a statement, the Home Office said: “Acting on intelligence, officers visited a construction site in Capenhurst, Cheshire.

“Staff were questioned to establish whether they had the right to live and work in the UK. Twenty Indian men between the ages of 25 and 50 were found to be working illegally.

“Eleven of those arrested were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the UK, whilst the remainder have been ordered to report to the Home Office regularly while steps are taken to remove them.

“The visit was carried out with the full cooperation of the construction company working at the site.

“The illegal workers were all employed by a separate sub-contractor, Sword Construction.

“Sword Construction will be served a notice warning that financial penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker arrested will be imposed unless the employer can demonstrate that appropriate right to work document checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document. If proof is not provided, this is a potential total of up to £400,000.”

Sword Construction said it always carries out appropriate checks and has launched an internal investigation, following the incident on October 12.

A Sword Construction spokesman said: “During a visit by the UK Immigration Department to the Tails Management Facility (TMF) construction island site at Capenhurst on October 12 2015 a number of persons working on behalf of Sword were detained and interviewed as there were concerns that they did not have the legal right to work in the UK.

“We take these matters extremely seriously, appropriate right to work checks are always carried out and will continue to be so and we have commenced a thorough internal investigation. We are working closely with all parties to resolve this situation.”