A Chelmsford restaurant which hit the headlines for hiring illegal immigrants has launched a bid for a new licence.
The Baddow Tandoori, in Church Street, Great Baddow, was stripped of its licence following the decision of a subcommittee at Chelmsford City Council in September last year.
The decision was made after a raid was conducted by officers from the Home Office Immigration Service in June 2017.
Now an application has been made to the council’s Licensing Authority for the Baddow Tandoori to be granted a new premises licence.
The application includes a request to allow the business to remain open to the public between 10.30am and 1am every day as well as being able to supply alcohol between those same hours.
Shortly before 9pm on June 14, officers discovered two workers at the Great Baddow restaurant, one who claimed to be the manager and another who said he just visiting, who had no right to work in the UK.
During the investigation that followed, licence holder Nurul Islam’s asserted that he had attempted to make all the relevant checks regarding his employees.
Mr Islam’s business came to the attention of the authorities when one of the illegal workers, known as “Mr Ahmed”, used the Tandoori’s address for various applications.
Mr Ahmed, who was found hiding in a downstairs cupboard, had been living in Galleywood on an expired student visa.
Officers found the second worker from Myanmar, known as “Mr Hoque”, as he walked out of the kitchen, with food on his clothes and stained hands from working.
When asked to hand over identification, his documents revealed he had no right to work in the UK, though he claimed he was visiting from Walsall to break the Ramadan fast with friends.
Following an investigation, Essex Police applied to Chelmsford City Council to have Mr Islam’s licence permanently revoked.
During a licensing meeting on September 18, Guy Ladenberg, representing the county’s police force, told the panel how Mr Islam had taken “no steps to satisfy” either of the men were allowed to work or to register them properly on the PAYE system.
There was a total lack of management of these premises,” he said.
“When you have management this poor, a few conditions would not help this case.”
Mr Ladenberg also explained that while Mr Hoque had a right to be in the UK but no right to work, Mr Ahmed’s expired student visa afforded him neither privelege.
But David Dadds, representing Mr Islam, refuted the claim the business management was poor, nor that any workers were paid below minimum wage as had been suggested.
He also noted that the only party backing the licence revocation was Essex Police, with no support from local residents, businesses or environmental health.