SIX illegal immigrants working at Hereford's Sun Valley factory have been deported after a Home Office investigation.

Immigration enforcement officers were called in after company bosses grew suspicious about the authenticity of documents belonging to a group of foreign workers.

As a result three Russians, a Lithuanian, an Estonian and a Pole were detained and later deported.

Richard Maxfield, director at Sun Valley Foods, said: "These people were referred to Sun Valley by an employment agency, which has since been closed.

"We would never knowingly employ illegal workers and will take every measure possible to ensure that this situation does not arise again."

The Home Office has confirmed the operation at Sun Valley at the end August was pre-planned and carried out with the full co-operation of the company.

"This is an example of the Government's commitment to tackle illegal working and to remove foreign nationals e working without permission," the HO said.