Derby

Derby councillor employs illegal immigrants at factory

A factory run by a Derby politician could receive a fine of up to £50,000 for employing five illegal immigrants.

Four women and a man were arrested following a raid by the UK Border Agency at A Star Clothing, in Stanhope Street, Normanton, on Wednesday.

Balbir Singh Sandhu, a Labour councillor, said he had the documents to prove he had acted in good faith.

The agency said the fine would have to be paid unless paperwork proved sufficient steps had been taken.

Mr Sandhu said he had carried out all the necessary checks and had copies of documents, including National Insurance papers and passport details, to prove it.

"I told the [UK Border Agency] I have nothing to hide," he said.

Fingerprint scanners

"They can check whatever they want to check. They can go through my computer system."

Officers, acting on a tip-off about illegal workers, paid an unannounced visit to the factory at 10:30 GMT on Wednesday.

Staff were questioned while their immigration status was checked with fingerprint scanners.

Four women were arrested, and another woman was escorted off the premises, after it was found she was already known to the agency and regularly reporting on bail.

Four are from India and one from Pakistan. An Indian man was later arrested at a property in Dale Road.

The UK Border Agency said fines of £10,000 per worker would have to be paid unless it could be proved the owner had taken steps to confirm the right to work of the foreign nationals.

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