17 men found working illegally at Worthing’s Aquarena site

Seventeen men were found working illegally at the Aquarena construction site in Worthing following a raid by immigration enforcement officers today (March 26).

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:46 pm

Acting on intelligence, immigration enforcement officers, supported by Sussex Police, visited the construction site in Brighton Road at 10am.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Immigration checks found seventeen men working illegally. Ten, aged 18–31, were from Albania and seven, aged 28–63, were from India.

Police outside the Aquerena construction site in Worthing this morning (March 26)

“Eleven of the men, nine Albanians and two Indians, had entered the UK illegally and six, one Albanian and five Indians, had overstayed their visas. All are currently in immigration detention pending removal from the UK.”

Contractors on behalf of Roffey Homes started work on the plot in November 2017 – a £45million development of 141 homes and commercial space.

Ben Cheal, managing director for Roffey Homes, said: “Westbrooke Developments, part of the Roffey Homes Group, is committed to ethical practice and we only employ local people and have done for over 40 years.

“All our employees live in Sussex and have been checked for eligibility to work in the UK.

“Our site management require details of all project workers to ensure they are qualified to work on site. If anyone fails this test they do not come on site.”

Mr Cheal added the visit immigration officials made to the site relates to a contractor not based in Sussex.

He said: “This sub-contractor is responsible for carrying out their own checks before sending their labour to site.

“Although it is their responsibility to carry out thorough checks on their workforce, we shall review what additional procedures we can implement to ensure that only those who are legally allowed to work on our site are able to do so.”