Two Indian restaurants, in Storrington and Ashington, face new controls over trading following enforcement action by immigration officers at the Home Office.
Cottage Tandoori, in Storrington, and Indian Cottage, in Ashington, ‘have been found to be employing illegal workers who have no right to work in the United Kingdom due to their immigration status’, according to Horsham District Council.
Horsham District Council’s licensing sub-committee is due to review the licences on Friday (September 29) at Chartway, Horsham.
The enforcement visits of Cottage Tandoori were conducted over a ten-month period between July 2016 and May 2017.
The visits of Indian Cottage were conducted over an 11-month period between July 2016 and June 2017.
Horsham District Council said a total of 13 instances of illegal working were identified across both premises during these visits.
The Home Office has issued a £160,000 penalty to Exotic Creations – the licence holder of Cottage Tandoori – and a £120,000 penalty to Kaher Zaman and Sons Limited – the licence holder of Indian Cottage – ‘as a result of their employment of illegal workers’.
Company House shows that Mr Kaher Zaman is the sole director of both Kaher Zaman and Sons Limited and Exotic Creations, according to Horsham District Council.
A report issued by Horsham District Council said: “This penalty amount relates to penalties issued from the first and second enforcement visits to the premises. The decision regarding the potential penalties relating to the third enforcement visit to the premises currently remains outstanding.
“To date none of these civil penalties has been paid by the premises, neither did they appeal/object in court the decision to issue these penalties.
“Appropriate checks had not been made at either premises by the premises licence holders to ensure that all the staff they employed had a right to work in the United Kingdom.
“Sleeping areas for multiple persons were identified by immigration officers at the premises.”
The premises licences holders for both Cottage Tandoori, Storrington and Indian Cottage, Ashington, are Mr Bodruz Raman, Mr Jashim Uddin and Mr Kaher Zaman and the grounds for the review relate to the employment of illegal workers.
At the meeting on Friday, the sub-committee has a range of options from modifying conditions on the licence, removing the designated premises supervisor, suspending the licence for three months or revoking the licence completely.
If the committee decides to revoke the premises licence, the restaurants may not be able to sell alcohol, supply alcohol to a club, provide regulated entertainment or provide late night refreshment.
In this case, the premises may still open but it will be dry and no hot food after 11pm, according to Horsham District Council.