Ilford shisha lounge fined over £12k for 'flouting the law'
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A shisha lounge in Ilford has been fined more than £12,000 for "failing to meet its legal obligations".
On two surprise visits from Redbridge Council environmental health officers, Moroccan Gardens Ltd on Belgrave Road was found to be breaching anti-smoking legislation.
The council found boss Amer Ayub and venue manager Raja Khan to be "flouting the law" by allowing people to smoke in a substantially enclosed area in the venue.
Redbridge's cabinet member for crime, safety and community cohesion believes this prosecution "sends out a very clear message".
"We will take tough action against any business breaking the law or breaching the regulations," said Cllr Khayer Chowdhury.
“There are very clear and strict rules in place to protect people from the dangers associated with smoking - it was clear in this case that the owner of the lounge decided to ignore the legal requirements placed upon them.
“It is essential to protect the public from the harmful effects of smoke and we will continue to work hard to enforce the legislation throughout the borough."
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At Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on November 23, Ayub was ordered to pay £4,000, while Khan was fined £2,000.
The business, Moroccan Gardens Ltd, was also fined £4,000.
These fines, coupled with costs of £2873.50 awarded against both defendants, meant the men were stung to the tune of £12,873.50.
Neither man attended the hearing.
Council leader Jas Athwal said this was Redbridge's twelfth successful prosecution against an illegally operating shisha lounge, and the largest fine of its kind given in the borough so far.
He added: “We are cracking down on rogue operators to help keep Redbridge safe and healthy.
“Businesses have a responsibility towards their customers, and those failing to meet their legal obligations will find we have a zero tolerance policy in Redbridge.”
Earlier this year, The Secret Garden in Ilford High Road was ordered to pay more than £5,000 in fines for flouting the law on indoor smoking for the second time.
Shisha, or water pipes, are used to smoke mainly flavoured or non-flavoured tobacco or herbal mixtures.
It's illegal to smoke tobacco or anything containing tobacco, or any other substance, in enclosed or substantially enclosed premises.