London: Britain's immigration officials have arrested 25 foreign nationals, including 23 Indians, for working illegally in an Asian supermarket here, official sources said on Tuesday.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited the Quality Foods Supermarket in Southall area of west London to check whether staff had the legal right to work in the UK.

Checks revealed a number of staff were working in breach of immigration law and officers arrested 23 Indians, one Pakistani and a Ghanaian, aged between 19 and 54.

Three of those arrested were female, the sources said.

Out of the 25 arrested, 15 were working in breach of their immigration conditions, six had entered the UK illegally and four had overstayed their visa.
     
Officials said steps were taken to deport all 25 from the country "at the earliest possible opportunity."

The owner of the supermarket was given a penalty notice, warning he could face fines of up to 10,000 pounds for each illegal worker arrested unless he can prove that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.

Jennifer Money, head of Ealing local immigration team, UK Border Agency, said: "It is the legal responsibility of all businesses to check their employees have the right to work in the UK".

She added: "Where we find people who are in the UK illegally, we will seek to remove them. But we also want to send out a strong message to employers. More raids like this are planned."

(Agencies)