Suspected illegal immigrants have been arrested after being employed as Olympic security guards.
Three alleged bogus workers – employed as security guards – were arrested in a co-ordinated operation at St James Park in Newcastle - which is hosting a series of Olympic football games.
The arrests occurred on Wednesday, just 24 hours before Mexico and South Korea's game at Newcastle United's home ground.
UK Border Agency workers made the arrests alongside officers from Northumbria Police after acting on intelligence and carrying out routine checks.
The suspected illegal immigrants had been contracted in to provide security at the site and had already been installed at their posts, it is believed.
It is understood those arrested were brought into Newcastle by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) from a security company based in the south of the country.
LOCOG were unable to comment on the incident, but a spokesman from the Home Office confirmed the arrests took place.
The spokesman said: “These arrests show that UK Border Agency security checks are working.
“The responsibility for ensuring employees have the right to work in the UK rests with the employer.
“The UK Border Agency is working closely with employers and contractors at Olympics venues to prevent illegal working.”
Security firm G4S have faced heavy criticism in the run-up to the Olympics in Newcastle, after they failed to live up to their promise of providing security staff on Tyneside.
Earlier this week more than 500 staff from security firms across the country were called in to patrol St James’ Park, check bags, marshal spectators and carry out routine public safety and security functions for the tournament, which runs to August 4.
Earlier this month Sky Tyne and Wear revealed G4S had failed to ensure enough security staff turned up to provide protection for footballers staying at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, forcing Northumbria Police to step in.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "On Wednesday, July 25, officers carried out a number of arrests in conjunction with the UK Border Agency in connection with suspected immigration offences."
Last week two Olympic security guards were arrested on suspicion of being illegal immigrants at Coventry’s Ricoh Stadium.
LOCOG came under fire after fans reported delays getting into St James’ Park prior to Mexico’s goalless draw with South Korea, with some missing the match.
Newcastle City Council’s director of operations, Stephen Savage, said: “LOCOG are responsible for ticketing, sales and collections, and as soon as the city council became aware of the delays we made the strongest representations to LOCOG to tackle this issue.”
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