“They eventually agreed to re-enter the building"
A popular Indian restaurant faces closure if it has its premises licence revoked after a raid found it had hired workers illegally.
Members of North East Lincolnshire Council‘s licensing sub-committee will review the licence in place at The Spice of Life on Wellowgate.
This comes after immigration officials raided the restaurant after acting on intelligence it was employing at least three illegal workers in the kitchen.
It was also suggested that the workers were living in the flat above and had been instructed to hide if immigration were ever to visit.
Officers raided the restaurant on August 23, 2019.
During the raid, one of the two arrested men tried to escape by climbing out of a window and onto the roof.
In a report to the committee, one of the immigration officers said:
“They eventually agreed to re-enter the building and we helped them back through the window. He was visibly shaken and cried for some time before calming down.”
Mohammed Abdul Salique and Abdul Somir are the licence holders for the restaurant.
It may now close as Home Office Immigration Enforcement (HOIE) say the licence holders are not promoting the licensing objective to prevent crime and disorder.
The premises have been visited on five previous occasions by HOIE. During visits in 2012 and 2015, workers were found to be employed illegally and were subsequently arrested.
A report stated: “One of the illegal workers confirmed that the manager, who was consistently described by workers at the premises as the son of the owner, paid him in cash for his work.
“The other illegal worker confirmed he was sometimes given money.
“Both confirmed that they had never been asked to provide evidence that they were allowed to work in the UK by the manager or anyone else at the premises.”
The alleged son of the owner was reported to be “verbally aggressive” during the 2015 visit and “disruptive” to police during the 2019 raid.
In relation to the 2015 visit, the Indian restaurant was fined £30,000.
However, the penalty remains unpaid despite there being no objections or appeals.
Mr Salique and Mr Somir have made applications to transfer the premises licence to Tale and Spirit Group Ltd, the current premises licence holder for Arthurs House, Gin Kitchen and Cocktail Lounge in Cleethorpes.
Humberside Police Chief Constable Lee Freeman objected the application.
He said the designated premises supervisor for Tale and Spirit Group is Mr Salique’s son.
On behalf of the Chief Constable Freeman, licensing officer Alison Saxby said:
“It is not believed that this is an independent party coming in to run the premises and may still be subjected to the criminality that is lined to the premises.
“Given the repeated criminality regarding illegal workers at the premises, Humberside Police will not consider any application from any party with a link to to the current premises licence holders, Mr Salique or Mr Somir.”
A Home Office report said: “Whether by negligence or wilful blindness illegal workers were engaged in activity on the premises, yet it is a simple process for an employer to ascertain what documents they should check before a person is allowed to work.”
A hearing will be held on January 19, 2021, in order to review the Indian restaurant’s licence.