Beds, Herts & Bucks

Six arrests in Honeytop Speciality Foods immigration raid

Six people have been arrested in a raid by immigration officials on a food company in Bedfordshire.

About 100 police and UK Border Agency officers targeted Honeytop Speciality Foods in Dunstable on Tuesday.

The immigration status of 200 workers was checked at the firm, which supplies companies such as McDonald's and Sharwoods.

The company, based on the Woodside Industrial Estate, makes food including naan breads, tortillas and pancakes.

Simon Excell, of the UK Border Agency, said: "We deployed to Honeytop Foods working off intelligence that illegal workers were present within the company.

'First class reputation'

"We have spoken to around about 200 members of staff, a lot of them have been British or European nationalities and in the end we have arrested six illegal workers.

"They are now being transported to an immigration removal centre."

The business faces potential fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless it can prove the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.

One of the owners William Eid, who was called to the factory last night, said he was unaware any of his workers were working illegally.

He said he was happy to provide all of the firm's documents to officials, adding: "Our business has a first class reputation.

"I just wish they had called us first and we would have provided all the information they needed."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites