FIVE workers at the Allied Bakeries plant in Gateshead have been arrested by immigration officers on charges of working illegally.

The officers quizzed 16 staff at the plant and arrested five on suspicion of having fake passports and fake asylum registration cards. The staff had come to the company through a recruitment agency.

In a statement, the Immigration Service said: "We can confirm the Immigration Service has visited Allied Bakeries and a number of addresses connected with the bakeries. Five immigration offenders were arrested."

A spokesman for Allied Bakeries said: "As part of a routine Immigration Service investigation, we were made aware that 16 temporary staff at our Gateshead bakery - all of whom were supplied by an employment agency - may not have genuine documentation allowing them to work in the UK. As a matter of routine, Allied, along with its employment agencies, conducts all the required document checks for new workers."