Horsham restaurant director faces disqualification


A director of a Horsham restaurant has been disqualified from being a company director or being involved in the management of companies, the government’s Insolvency Service has said.

In a statement released to the media, and published on its website, the Insolvency Service said: ‘‘Akhtar Zaman, 48, the sole registered director of Rajkumar Restaurant, Horsham, has been disqualified from being a company director or being involved in the management of companies for eight years.’’

The Insolvency Service said: ‘‘The directors of seven restaurants from Lincolnshire to West Sussex who put their businesses into liquidation to avoid paying fines for employing illegal workers have received lengthy bans following separate investigations by the Insolvency Service.

‘‘The restaurants based in Spalding, King’s Lynn, London, Bristol, Redhill and Horsham, employed 20 illegal workers between them and were fined in 2013 and 2014 after Home Office Immigration Enforcement found them to be employing illegal workers.

‘‘The businesses were all subsequently put into liquidation with the fines left unpaid.

‘‘In total nine people have been banned from being company directors or being involved in the management of companies for between six and eight years.’’

The Insolvency Service statement said: ‘‘Akhtar Zaman is of Horsham.

‘‘He was the sole registered director of Sadiq-Nishat UK Limited, which was incorporated in 2009 and traded as an Indian restaurant from Horsham, West Sussex.

‘‘Akhtar Zaman’s disqualification follows collaboration between the Insolvency Service and Home Office Immigration Enforcement (formerly UK Border Agency). The matters leading to his disqualification include that:

- Having inspected the premises of Rajkumar Restaurant in May 2013, UK Border Agency officials found six illegal workers and imposed a penalty of £30,000.

- After having been visited, Akhtar Zaman made three transfer payments of almost £13,000 to himself within a two week period during June 2013 and failed to provide any explanations when requested. The company did not pay the £30,000 penalty imposed by the UK Border Agency and ceased trading in November 2013

- At liquidation in March 2014, the company had a recorded deficiency in excess of £73,000 including £30,000 which was owed to the UK Border Agency in respect of the penalty imposed for employing illegal workers.’’

Vicky Bagnall, Director of Investigation and Enforcement, said: ‘‘Employing illegal workers is not a victimless crime. These directors sought an unfair advantage over their competitors by employing people under the radar who were not entitled to work legally in the UK.

‘‘It is not acceptable to use the insolvency process to escape legal sanctions. This action is a warning to other employers that if you flout the law, there will be consequences.’’

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