SEVENTEEN foreign workers have been arrested following a swoop on a Huddersfield firm.
The raid by immigration officers and the police took place at the Deighton headquarters of discount retail chain Instore.
Officials also took away records relating to the employees. The drama, which took place at noon on Tuesday, focused on the 350,000sq ft distribution centre at Instore's Leeds Road site.
The workers escorted from the site all worked in the distribution centre.
Instore said it had co-operated with the operation, but it declined to identify the nationalities of the workers, who were recruited through an outside agency.
Instore also declined to go into the reasons for the raid.
However, it is thought that the workers were all from Africa and that some of them have work permits which have expired.
Company secretary Martin Collinson said: "The operation was pre-planned.
"We co-operated with the police and immigration service to make sure the people they were looking for were on site."
He added: "As far as we are concerned, that is the end of the matter. These people are - by definition - no longer employed by us and the police and immigration service will do whatever they need to."
He added: "We have not been criticised in terms of our recruitment policies, but we will be reviewing the third party agents that we use for the recruitment of labour in our distribution centre."
Mr Collinson said Instore had been given assurances by the agency concerned that the workers had the "necessary credentials" to work in the UK.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "We can confirm that the immigration service conducted an intelligence-led operation in West Yorkshire on July 25. As a result of the operation, 17 individuals have been arrested.
"The immigration service received the full co-operation of the company involved."
The service was committed to tackling illegal working, she said.
"The Government has made it clear it will take a robust approach to removing people from the country where they have no legal right to be here."
Instore has about 140 stores across the UK selling items ranging from clothes and toys to furniture and hardware
The company is converting its Poundstretcher stores to the Instore name and format.
Instore owner Brown and Jackson transferred its head office and distribution centre from Leeds to Deighton last year.