Employees at Butlins and Haven
holiday camps have appeared in court after they were caught claiming thousands
of pounds in sickness benefit and income support.
The Skegness-based chalet cleaners were caught after an
investigation – dubbed Operation Morning Campers – found that many who claimed
they were too sick to work, were able to carry heavy cleaning equipment,
reports the Sunday Mirror.
The investigation, which saw Department of Work and Pensions
(DWP) staff mingling with Redcoats and guests last October, was launched after
a tip-off that many cleaners gave bogus names and National Insurance numbers.
The fraudsters, aged between 23 and 65, were told by
scam-organisers that they could clean up by claiming benefit – and also drawing
They claimed they were told they didn’t need to give their
real names. Many of the workers were bussed in from Hull
After 13 cleaners admitted to a string of offences totalling
£24,000, it emerged that the cleaning contractor who hired them also faces an
investigation. Four of the 13 were fined up to £200 when they appeared before
magistrates in Skegness on Friday.
The DWP said bosses at the Butlins
and Haven holiday camps were unaware of the racket and had fully co-operated
with the investigation.