Enforcers from the Home Office Immigration unit raided Gafoor Pure Halal Limited on Fletcher Road in Preston last week.
Looking for suspected illegal workers the officers locked down the factory and checked the identity of everyone inside. According to records the chicken factory has been targeted twice before and on both occasions illegal workers were discovered.
According to a recent report in The Observer newspaper the raid was prompted by the claims from two men from the Czech Republic. They said they had worked at the factory as part of a Roma gang brought to the UK but had escaped. They said other trafficked immigrants had been forced to work in other factories.
The paper also reported that there was is no suggestion Gafoor knew the Czech workers were exploited by criminals or was in any way culpable for their treatment by the Roma gang.
At least three employees were detained by officers and intelligence from the raid will lead police to visit other addresses in the area.
Businesses in Preston can face fines for employing illegal workers following operations by Immigration officers.
The Minister for Immigration Minister Mark Harper recently said: “Illegal working encourages illegal immigration, undercuts legitimate businesses and is often associated with exploitation.
“The existing illegal working regime isn’t simple enough; the penalties have remained the same since 2008 and don’t provide a sufficient deterrent; it is also too easy for companies to evade paying them.
“New legislation will increase the penalties for rogue businesses, make it easier to enforce payment, while also making it easier for legitimate businesses to verify individuals’ right to work.”
The government recently announced the introduction of the Immigration Bill. Looking at reforming the removals and appeals system, the Bill will make it easier and quicker to remove those who have no right to be here. It will also prevent illegal migrants accessing or abusing public services and the labour market.
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business or someone is living in the UK illegally can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.