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Restaurants lose licences after illegal workers found

Two restaurants in Uttlesford have had their premises licences revoked after illegal workers were found at their sites.

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Uttlesford District Council's Licensing & Environmental Health Committee last week approved an application from Essex Police, which followed raids by immigration officers on Razza in Felsted and Radhuni in Newport.

Two suspects were arrested following the raid at Razza on 23 August. The raid on Radhuni, carried out on 1 September, resulted in three more arrests.

Essex Police asked the council to review the licences of both restaurants on the grounds of Crime and Disorder relating to immigration offences.

The committee heard that Saysta Miah, licensee of Razza, did not keep proper records of employment, and that he had failed to delegate his responsibilities as a licensee to a properly qualified person while he was out of the country. The committee found that he did not put into place measures to prevent illegal working.

Shamim Ahmed, licensee of Radhuni, had also failed to keep proper records of his employees. Although he stated that he had made arrangements with another licensee to oversee his premises while he was abroad, he was unable to provide evidence of this.

The committee's decision means that neither restaurant will be allowed to sell alcohol or have regulated entertainment. This will take effect on 2 January 2018 unless appeals have been submitted to the Magistrates Court.

Cllr Robert Chambers, Chairman of the Licensing & Environmental Health Committee, said: "I hope these cases send out a strong message that we will not tolerate businesses who think they can cheat the system. If you employ illegal workers it is just a matter of time until you are caught and action is taken against you.

"I am grateful for the combined efforts of our licensing team, the police and our other community safety partners, and I am confident that we will continue to deliver examples of this kind of offence being stamped out."

Information to help employers carry out checks can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties

12 December 2017