Some 40 Indian workers found to be working illegally in Britain were on Wednesday arrested following raids on several business addresses in Leicester in what was described as one of the “largest” such operations by immigration authorities. They are to be deported to India.

At one factory, raided by officers from the U.K. Border Agency, 33 workers including 28 Indians, were found to have entered Britain illegally. A raid on the premises of a clothing manufacturer led to the discovery of 14 illegal immigrants, including 12 Indians.

Under the law, employers are required to carry out pre-employment checks on people they intend to hire and those found employing illegal workers face fines of upto £10,000 pounds for each illegal worker. But many, it is alleged, turn a blind eye as foreign workers, especially those with questionable immigration status, come cheap.

Immigration Minister Damian Green described the operation as “one of the largest we have conducted in the Midlands”.

“It reinforces our determination to identify and remove more people with no legal right to work in this country,” he said.

A senior official of Leicestershire police said the operation “demonstrates the commitment of all the agencies involved in tackling immigration abuse”.

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