Judgement Day For Café Masala as Illegal Workers Are Discovered

Café Masala, of Eaton Bray, faces the loss of its alcohol licence tomorrow (Thursday).

When Immigration Enforcement Alcohol Licensing Team visited the premises in April one person tried to leave the premises by trying to climb out of a window; a male was subsequently found hiding in the female toilets. A report to the Licensing Committee says that the owner, Mr Uddin, was asked for paperwork relating to his staff and in due course came to open a drawer containing money. Mr Uddin tried to quickly shut the drawer. Mr Uddin was asked what the money was for and should it not be in the bank. Mr Uddin said it is the money from the business which he has not cashed as he will need to pay the illegal staff by cash. Mr Uddin admitted to employing four people who he knew to be illegally in the UK. Payslips were seen for the remaining staff.

Home Office Immigration Enforcement visited the premises on 5 April 2019.

The current licence authorises sales of alcohol on the premises Monday to Sunday 12.00hrs to 14.30hrs and 18.00hrs to 23.30hrs and authorises late night refreshment Monday to Sunday 23.00hrs to 23.30hrs.

Home Office Immigration Enforcement Officers carried out an enforcement visit at another business owned/managed by Mr Uddin in Stevenage in November 2018. Two workers were found to be illegally present in the UK at that premises.

29 emails were received from local residents wishing to express their support for Café Masala and requesting that the licence not be taken away, many stating that the Café was a valuable community asset.

If the premises licence is revoked or suspended, the premises would still be able to operate as a restaurant selling soft drinks until 23.00hrs.

The Premises Licence for Café Masala, of Bower Lane, Eaton Bray, LU6 1RB is to be reviewed at the Licensing Sub Committee of Central Bedfordshire Council at its meeting from 10am Thursday 29 August, at Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, SG17 5TQ.

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

People with information about suspected immigration abuse can visit https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Source:CBC agendas

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