Croydon Tesco warehouse raided over illegal workers
Foreign students illegally working for Tesco face deportation following a raid by UK Border Agency officers.
A dawn raid organised following a tip-off at the Tesco.com warehouse, Factory Lane, Croydon, last month found 20 students working between 50 and 70-hour weeks, far beyond the 20 hours allowed on their visas.
The retail giant now faces large fines, while the students face deportation.
A spokesman for UKBA said: “We received information that some staff members were working in the UK illegally at Tesco.com on Factory Lane, Croydon.
“In response, officers carried out an operation in full cooperation with the company shortly after 3am on Saturday, July 21, 2012.
“Twenty individuals have been arrested and now face removal from the UK.”
Tesco has stressed it cooperated with UKBA over the pre-arranged raid and is working to discover how the error was made.
A spokesman for the company said: “In cooperation with Tesco, the UK Border Agency visited our dot com store in Croydon in July.
“As a result of this visit, a small number of staff were found to have breached the terms of their working visas.
“We continue to cooperate fully with the UK Border Agency as they look into this issue.”
Tesco must provide information about the checks it carries out on all its staff in an effort to avoid a fine believed to be up to £200,000.
The Tesco spokesman said: “We have a comprehensive system for ensuring all the correct procedures are followed in this area, which has been externally audited and generally works well.”