PUBLISHED: 17:28, 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 07:44, 19 July 2012
Two G4S security guards who were due to protect footballers during the Olympic Games have been arrested on suspicion of being illegal immigrants.
The men, who are believed to be from Pakistan, had secured jobs with the under-fire firm to work at the City of Coventry stadium, which is due to host 12 matches.
Officers swooped on the venue after their alleged bogus status is said to have been revealed in an accreditation check by G4S, which has been criticised after failing to provide enough staff for the Games.
The firm, which last week admitted it could not meet its contracted target of 10,400 guards despite employing 650,000 people worldwide, then notified the police and UK Border Agency.
The men, who are aged 21 and 24, worked for East Midlands Security and would have been part of the effort to ‘lockdown’ the venue in a bid to guard it from terror attacks.
Police today confirmed they were working with officials from the UK Border Agency while further checks were made on their immigration status.
Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe, of West Midlands Police, said: ‘A 21-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday 17 July 2012 at 3pm on suspicion of breach of immigration laws.
‘A 24-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday 18 July 2012 at 10.47am on suspicion of breach of immigration laws.
‘The arrests by UK Borders Agency followed the proactive security checks carried out by the accreditation centre at City of Coventry Stadium in preparation for the forthcoming Olympic football matches.
‘West Midlands Police are working with officials from UK Borders Agency and the men remain in custody pending further enquiries by UKBA regarding their immigration status.
‘Our commitment to safety and security continues.
MPS WANT TO QUIZ G4S CHIEF AGAIN
The Home Affairs Select Committee has called the boss of G4S to give evidence to them again.
The company’s chief executive Nick Buckles will go before the committee on September 11, the same day as Home Secretary Theresa May.
It follows Mr Buckles’ appearance before the committee yesterday.
Chairman Keith Vaz said: ‘The Committee will continue its formal investigation after the Olympics and Paralympics have finished.
‘We look forward to the police and Army working with G4S to deliver a safe and secure Games.
‘We will be recalling G4S back to make sure that the commitments Nick Buckles made to the Committee on Tuesday are honoured in full during the Games.
‘We have received a significant amount of information from members of the public on their experiences with G4S. We have passed these on to G4S and will continue to do so.’
‘These arrests show that the accreditation checks at the City of Coventry stadium are working as planned.
‘We continue to work closely with our partners to deliver a safe and secure games.’
G4S today confirmed the EMS workers who were arrested would have been responsible for security during the Olympic Games.
A spokesman said: ‘As a result of our vetting and screening checks, these two men were picked up.
‘We check for criminal records, history of employment, residential address and credit check.
‘EMS is a subcontractor and are responsible for perimeter security, including car parking and pedestrian areas outside the venue.
‘The men had not started on the 2012 project.’
The revelation comes after David Cameron today vowed to ‘go after’ G4S for the costs of the Olympic security fiasco, which has seen the deployment of extra soldiers and police to plug gaps at Games venues.
Speaking on a visit to Afghanistan, the Prime Minister saluted the military for ‘stepping up to the plate’ in helping deal with the shambles left by the private security firm.
And he said he insisted he was ‘confident’ that he could meet his promise to bring British troops back from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
It came as the Government hinted that G4S would lose its £57million management fee for overseeing the Olympic security operation.
He said: ‘Let’s be clear, if G4S don’t fulfil their contract we will go after them for the money to make sure that they help pay for the military personnel that have been brought in.’
When it was suggested London 2012 had become the ‘soggy Olympics’, Mr Cameron launched an impassioned defence of what had been achieved, including delivering the park on time and on budget.
‘Let’s not call this the wet and soggy Olympics, it is a great moment for our country,’ he added.
‘Yes, there are challenges and the military have stepped up to the plate and I salute them for it. Let’s not call it a soggy Olympics, let’s call it a great Olympics.
‘When it comes to the Olympics we have to be ready for any contingency. We have to make sure they are safe and secure Olympics.
‘I salute and applaud what the military have done to step in and I think they’re doing an excellent job.
‘If there are further steps we have to take, of course we will take them, but I think the responsibility should be for G4S to make sure that their people are there to provide enough security.
‘But the Army are playing a vital role. Be in no doubt whatever it takes to provide a safe and secure Olympic Games, we will do it.’
Action: Sports minister Hugh Robertson (left) said the Government would activate ‘all penalty clauses’ in G4S’s contract but he dismissed calls for the company’s chief executive Nick Buckles (right) to resign immediately