Sainsbury's stays silent over illegal immigrants washing customers' cars in Kiln Lane, Epsom

This Is Local London: Sainsbury's stays silent over illegal immigrants washing customers' cars Sainsbury's stays silent over illegal immigrants washing customers' cars

Sainsbury’s has refused to say whether it will continue to allow one of its car parks to be used by a car wash firm which has been employing illegal immigrants.

In a major raid by immigration officers last Tuesday afternoon, three Nigerian men and one Ugandan man were arrested while working for the Hands On car wash, based in the car park of Sainsbury’s, in Kiln Lane, Epsom.

They were arrested on suspicion of over-staying their visas and illegal entry into the UK.

This Is Local London:

A spokesman for the Home Office said that three of the men remain in detention pending removal from the UK - with the exception of one of the Nigerian men, who has been placed on immigration bail while his case is investigated further.

Asked whether it would continue to allow the firm to operate from the car park and wash its customers cars, Sainsbury’s said the company is not one of its employees, but is a supplier.

But it refused to explain what its relationship with Hands On car wash actually is, what checks, if any, are carried out by Sainsbury’s to ensure that its suppliers do not employ illegal immigrants or whether it will continue to use the services of the Hands On Car Wash.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: "We cannot divulge any details of the relationship between Sainsbury’s and its suppliers."

When asked why, he said: "We don’t disclose those details."

When asked about what checks are in place to ensure that illegal immigrants are not employed by the car wash, he said: "Responsibility on these things ultimately lies with the supplier."

Epsom and Ewell councillor Clive Woodbridge said he was surprised at Sainsbury’s refusal to take any responsibility for the situation.

This Is Local London:

He said: "I don’t think a business like Sainsbury’s should pass the buck.  They need to take some responsibility for whatever takes place on their land and take this seriously.

"This whole incident has the potential to at least damage their reputation.  These people were working in their car park and most people will have thought that Sainsbury’s will have some connection with this operation, it is not an arms-length operation.

"You would think Sainsbury’s would show a great interest in it.

"It’s surprised me that they would not at least make some checks to ensure that the company employing these people were doing the right due diligence.

"Sainsbury’s may not be responsible for checking their passports but you would like to think they would take some responsibility for it. 

"While they may not be legally responsible, most people would say they have some moral responsibility as they are the company ultimately responsible.

"Smaller businesses often have to pay thousands of pounds in fines in similar cases."

After this article went online Sainsbury's issued a short statement  saying: “It is wrong to suggest that we are not showing an interest. As you would expect we have spoken to ‘Hands on Car wash’ who are carrying out checks.”

This Is Local London:

What do you think? Leave a comment below or email hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (10)

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2:02pm Wed 28 May 14

jswan1 says...

I like Sainsburys but would like to understand what the agreement was between them and this seemingly dodgy outfit. Personally I always thought they were drifters trying to make a quick buck, and I never once thought what the were doing was legal. I always just tried not to make eye contact as I drove around the car park. If Sainsburys allowed this to happen then the issue needs to be escalated to head office, because I have never seen these kind of activities happening in a supermarket carpark as part of an agreement with the supermarket.
I like Sainsburys but would like to understand what the agreement was between them and this seemingly dodgy outfit. Personally I always thought they were drifters trying to make a quick buck, and I never once thought what the were doing was legal. I always just tried not to make eye contact as I drove around the car park. If Sainsburys allowed this to happen then the issue needs to be escalated to head office, because I have never seen these kind of activities happening in a supermarket carpark as part of an agreement with the supermarket. jswan1
  • Score: 3

3:45pm Wed 28 May 14

chillieman says...

i do not in any shape or form support illegal immigrants and i think they should be removed from the country faster than a speeding bullet . but because some people wash cars for a living does that make them all dodgy/drifters. if these hand car washes are honestly run small businesses then i do not see any problem with that ,it is hard work and i have noticed that the folk doing the car washing are very polite and do a very good job . you really shouldnt judge people by the job they do jswan1,.....bye for now CHILLIEMAN :)
i do not in any shape or form support illegal immigrants and i think they should be removed from the country faster than a speeding bullet . but because some people wash cars for a living does that make them all dodgy/drifters. if these hand car washes are honestly run small businesses then i do not see any problem with that ,it is hard work and i have noticed that the folk doing the car washing are very polite and do a very good job . you really shouldnt judge people by the job they do jswan1,.....bye for now CHILLIEMAN :) chillieman
  • Score: -2

6:15pm Wed 28 May 14

bosco1 says...

Whilst it may not be Sainsburys who employ these people surely the car park is either owned / rented by Sainsburys so they should be interested in people on their land, be it owned or rented. I just think Sainsburys want a quick exit out of going to court etc.!!!
Whilst it may not be Sainsburys who employ these people surely the car park is either owned / rented by Sainsburys so they should be interested in people on their land, be it owned or rented. I just think Sainsburys want a quick exit out of going to court etc.!!! bosco1
  • Score: 8

10:34pm Wed 28 May 14

EwellMan says...

I dont think "Hey Car Wash" is too polite but never felt threatened by them. Sainsburys will charge the car washing company a fee to operate in the car park so hopefully after this they will no longer operate. There has to be a line drwan against taking advantage and these people obviously were by their employer. This employer needs to be punished as not right to employ someone without an NI number and being paid at least minimum wage.
I dont think "Hey Car Wash" is too polite but never felt threatened by them. Sainsburys will charge the car washing company a fee to operate in the car park so hopefully after this they will no longer operate. There has to be a line drwan against taking advantage and these people obviously were by their employer. This employer needs to be punished as not right to employ someone without an NI number and being paid at least minimum wage. EwellMan
  • Score: 1

12:47pm Thu 29 May 14

SheilaBB90 says...

Sainsbury's should check these people out, and make sure they are legal. They wouldn't purchase food items from an un known source without checking it out, they don't employ their own staff with out checking them out, so why should they not make checks on who operates a business in their car park?
Why should we be expected to support a company that allows illegal immigrants to work on their property?

I thought Sainsbury's was better than that.
Sainsbury's should check these people out, and make sure they are legal. They wouldn't purchase food items from an un known source without checking it out, they don't employ their own staff with out checking them out, so why should they not make checks on who operates a business in their car park? Why should we be expected to support a company that allows illegal immigrants to work on their property? I thought Sainsbury's was better than that. SheilaBB90
  • Score: 1

10:35pm Thu 29 May 14

SurreyBloke says...

Good. Sling their bloody hook.
I'm fed up every time I go to Sainsburys. They're there waiting for you, and they just follow you around waiting for you to get out the car before they pounce with the whole "Car wash. Hey, Car wash?".
If I want a car wash, I'll come to you ok.
Good. Sling their bloody hook. I'm fed up every time I go to Sainsburys. They're there waiting for you, and they just follow you around waiting for you to get out the car before they pounce with the whole "Car wash. Hey, Car wash?". If I want a car wash, I'll come to you ok. SurreyBloke
  • Score: 0

10:45pm Thu 29 May 14

fn1234 says...

Surreybloke,
Is it really that difficult for you to say 'no, thank you'?
Surreybloke, Is it really that difficult for you to say 'no, thank you'? fn1234
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Thu 29 May 14

fn1234 says...

SheilaBB90,
If you don't support Sainsbury for allowing illegal immigrants to work on their property, there are many other well known shops that do the same as well, consider them too, including those who employ child labour abroad and pay next to nothing so that you can enjoy relatively cheap prices.
SheilaBB90, If you don't support Sainsbury for allowing illegal immigrants to work on their property, there are many other well known shops that do the same as well, consider them too, including those who employ child labour abroad and pay next to nothing so that you can enjoy relatively cheap prices. fn1234
  • Score: 2

10:59pm Thu 29 May 14

jswan1 says...

If you know of "many other well known shops that do the same" in terms of employing illegal immigrants then why don't you put up and name them or shut up. I am calling you out on your bluff. If I knew of well known shops employing illegal immigrants I would see it as my duty to report them to the justice authorities. If you are not doing that, then what does that say about you?
If you know of "many other well known shops that do the same" in terms of employing illegal immigrants then why don't you put up and name them or shut up. I am calling you out on your bluff. If I knew of well known shops employing illegal immigrants I would see it as my duty to report them to the justice authorities. If you are not doing that, then what does that say about you? jswan1
  • Score: 1

3:46pm Sat 31 May 14

alroutemaster says...

Why blame Sainsbury's when the government seem unable to control immigration, legal or otherwise. All illegals in the country should, when found, be deported immediately and preferably in a wooden box.
Why blame Sainsbury's when the government seem unable to control immigration, legal or otherwise. All illegals in the country should, when found, be deported immediately and preferably in a wooden box. alroutemaster
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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