Accompanied by officers from Lincolnshire Police, immigration officials descended on Bourne Textile Services in Manning Road at about 5.30am on Tuesday 13 June.

Three men and one woman from Kosovo – all failed asylum seekers – were detained on immigration charges. Three men and three women from Brazil were arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally. It is understood all ten have since been deported.

The raid was carried out with the full co-operation of Bourne Textile Services, which claimed some of the immigrants had secured jobs there using forged documents.

Operations director Richard Clark said: “A number of people were arrested who had either had their claim for asylum refused or were working on forged papers.

The company found that the standard of the forgery on documents would have been almost impossible to detect without the detailed knowledge of the Immigration Service. Employers are not informed that asylum claims are refused.”

He added the raid had not affected the running of the business, which employs about 300 people.

A Home Office spokesman said immigration officers received intelligence reports that illegal workers were employed at the laundry.

It is not illegal for failed asylum seekers to live in the country while waiting for their appeals to be heard. However, they are not permitted to work once their initial application has been turned down. Immigrants who are not seeking asylum must have valid visas and work permits to live and work in Britain.

Murray Simpson of the TSA says: “While I cannot comment on the specifics of this case, it does highlight the problem of labour availability in certain areas.”

“Employers are placed in the difficult position of establishing the credentials presented by workers or agencies representing them. If the standard of the forgeries is as high as suggested, then the task is made almost impossible.”