A Hayes firm is facing a potential fine of up to £170,000, after 17 illegal workers were arrested during a UK Border Agency raid.

Acting on intelligence, officers targeted the premises of Only 4U Ltd on Bullsbrook Road on the morning of Thursday 10 December.

The operation was part of an ongoing clampdown on illegal working in the west London area, and coincides with a large-scale advertising campaign warning bosses of heavy fines if they are caught employing illegal foreign labour.

The 17 men, all Indians and Sri Lankans aged between 22 and 49, were arrested for a variety of immigration offences. Ten were failed asylum seekers. The UK Border Agency will now seek to remove all of them from the country.

The employers have been told they will face a fine unless they can prove that they carried out the correct right-to-work checks on staff.

Inspector Dick Stratton of the UK Border Agency said:

‘Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

‘We are happy to work with businesses to ensure they know what checks have to be done on staff, but those who do break the law will face action.

‘My officers will continue to target illegal working to reduce the attractiveness of the area to illegal immigrants, and more operations are planned in the future.’

Civil penalties for businesses that fail to carry out the proper checks when employing migrant workers from outside Europe were introduced by the government in February 2008, allowing fines of up to £10,000 per illegal employee.

Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers or call our Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be assured.

Vetting PageBanner