Lately, two restaurant bosses, were disqualified from their roles as company directors after being found guilty of employing illegal workers. The investigation carried out by the Insolvency Service in the Maharaj’s Lounge in Blyth and the Tandoori Parlour in Benfleet.
The Maharaj’s Lounge, which is the trading name of Raj’s Lounge Limited, was run by Raju Ahmed, 34, from Blyth, Northumberland. Mr. Ahmed was employing 3 illegal workers in his restaurant. He was disqualified for 7 years for having broken UK immigration laws. His company had been incorporated in October 2010, and he was the sole director. On 15th August 2013, the company was placed into voluntary liquidation. The assets were only £201, whereas the debts amounted to £27,548.
In the other case, which also involved a restaurant, Mr. Murad Ahmed, 42, from Benfleet, Essex, was found to have been employing 5 workers who did not have the right to work in the UK. Mr. Ahmed was disqualified from acting as a director for a period of 6 years. He was the sole registered director of City Restaurants Limited, which was trading under the name of Tandoori Parlour.
Being given a disqualification order means that these two former directors can no longer manage, promote or form any company or limited liability partnership for the stipulated period. They cannot receive a company’s property or act as insolvency practitioners. Mr. Mark Bruce, Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service also commented on the fact that these two directors had evidently sought an unfair advantage over competitors because by employing illegal workers they were not paying taxes. They were also breaking the employment and immigration laws, and thus they were liable to pay fines besides being disqualified from acting as directors. He also added that the public had a right to expect that such people were going to face the consequences for breaking the laws. When a director or manager fails to comply with certain obligations, the Insolvency Service will be stepping in and perform investigations. When being responsible for running a limited company, a director has certain statutory protections and obligations, and it is the Insolvency Service’s responsibility to take action when illegalities are being performed.
The UK Border Agency officials had found 3 illegal immigrants working at the Maharaj’s Lounge back in June 2012. Mr. Raju Ahmed was given a penalty of £15,000. He then transferred the assets out of his company to himself instead of allowing them to be taken so as to pay the fine. There were also more than £60,000 in repayment monies that he had loaned to the company. Since he did not pay the penalty, the company went into liquidation in August of the following year, and Mr. Ahmed was given a 7 year disqualification.
In the other case, Murad Ahmed, who managed City Restaurants Limited, was given a 6 year penalty. His company went into liquidation in March 2014. It had more than £70,000 deficit, including £37,500 in fines owed to the UK Border Agency for having employed illegal workers.