Acting on a tip off, UKBA officers visited Madina Superstores and cash & carry in Levenshulme, Manchester and arrested six Pakistani and two Afghan nationals for immigration offences, including illegal working and breach of visa conditions.
Madina has been issued with a civil penalty notice for employing illegal workers and faces a fine of up to £10,000 per worker if it cannot prove it conducted the correct checks when hiring the staff.
A further nine illegal workers were arrested at a raid on A1 cash & carry in Leicester. Nine Indian men were arrested when checks showed they had overstayed their visas. All are in detention while immigration officers take steps to deport them. A1 faces a fine of up to £90,000.
HMRC officers were also present at the raid following a allegations that staff at A1 were paid below the minimum wage.
"Businesses that exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties and potential prosecution," said chief immigration officer Phil Rudkin. "We are happy to help businesses carry out pre-employment checks, but those intent on breaking the law should expect a visit from the UK Border Agency."