Sting 'saddened' by reports of illegal migrant labour on Italian estate
Published 15/10/2016 | 09:41
Sting has said he is "saddened and distressed" amid allegations that migrants were working illegally on his luxury wine-producing Italian estate.
A section of the pop star's 865-acre (350-hectare) estate leased to another grower 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 contracted them out to work on Tuscan estates.
It is understood that the workers were not employed by Sting, nor were they involved in making his wine.
Italian prosecutors believe the owners of these estates did not know the labourers supplied were illegal, according to the Daily Telegraph.
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 30-40 labourers whose asylum applications had reportedly not been processed were employed on the rock star's estate last year, Antonio Sangermano, the prosecutor leading the investigation, told the Telegraph.
The newspaper said 11 people are being investigated over a number of charges, including commercial fraud, profiting from illegal labour and issuing false financial records.
Mr Sangermano told the Telegraph: "Sting had no knowledge of this and we believe he was not even in Italy at the time.
"He is not part of our inquiry. But we are looking into exactly who employed these workers on the estate."
Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, has owned the estate for more than 16 years.
His farm shop sells produce from the estate, including wine, olive oil, vegetables, fruit, honey and local salami.
One of his red wines, called Sister Moon after one of his songs, was identified as one of the top 100 Italian wines earlier this year.