Sting has said he is “saddened and distressed” amid reports that illegal migrants were discovered working on his luxury wine-producing Italian estate.
The pop star’s 865-acre estate, used to grow olive trees, grapes and other fruit, is reportedly part of a police investigation into illegal migrant labour.
Labourers who had not been granted the right to settle in Italy are said to have been recruited by gangmasters who used a firm to contract them out to Tuscan estates, including Sting’s, it is claimed.
Italian prosecutors believe these estates did not know the labourers supplied were illegal, according to a newspaper report.
The former Police frontman said he was “saddened and distressed to learn that an independent company leasing some of our fields may have been involved in questionable labour practices”.
“I fully expect that Italian law will take its course and bring the matter to court.
“While this company has no affiliation with our own operation, perhaps, as my name has appeared in the headline in the Italian papers, it will shine a necessary spotlight on unacceptable labour practices in the wine industry.”
Around 30 to 40 labourers whose asylum applications had not been processed were employed on the rock star’s estate last year, Antonio Sangermano, the prosecutor leading the investigation, told the Daily Telegraph. It was reported that 11 people are being investigated over a number of charges, including commercial fraud, profiting from illegal labour and false financial records.
Sangermano said: “Sting had no knowledge of this and we believe he was not even in Italy at the time.”