Immigration raid at Seven Kings restaurant finds illegal workers for second time
PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 30 January 2020
A Seven Kings restaurant could lose its licence after illegal workers with no right to work in the UK were found at the premises for a second time in two years.
Immigration enforcement officers carried out a warrant at Delhi O Delhi on August 7 last year and found two members of staff working illegally.
The family-run business, which opened in Electric Parade 2011, was also raided by immigration officers in October 2017, when three illegal workers were found.
The Home Office is calling for the premises licence to be revoked and a decision will be made by Redbridge Council's licensing sub-committee meeting on Monday, February 3.
"For the second time in two years, an immigration enforcement operation has discovered multiple persons working at these premises whilst they have no right to do so," the Home Office review application states.
"The premises and its management were already known to the immigration authorities because of the previous visit where illegal workers were discovered."
A £30,000 fine was issued to the restaurant in 2017 when the first raid by the Home Office found three illegal workers.
"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," the review application says.
The Home Office has asked for the premises licence to be revoked for the purposes of preventing crime and disorder.
A letter of representation from the business owner Vivek Khanna has been received by the council, along with a letter from Metrolaw Solicitors providing mitigation for Mr Khanna.
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Mr Khanna said: "I am an honest and trustworthy person and I feel that I was framed by someone who sent two illegal immigrants to help me in running my catering business. I repeatedly asked them to provide this information for my records but they were delaying in responding, stating that their details are with somebody else who has gone abroad.
"There wasn't any intention on my part to hire someone illegal who didn't have the right to work or break the law.
"I have evaluated my error of judgement and the mistrust these two people have placed on me and which has landed me in big trouble with the Home Office.
"I can only apologise for my misunderstanding and inability to understand legal matters and assure you that this won't be repeated again."
Mr Khanna also highlighted that the restaurant is a family-orientated business which hosts charity events and is a "vital hub for the community".
In legal representations submitted to Redbridge Council's licensing committee, Metrolaw Solicitors said: "Our client has identified and accepts that he requires the relevant training on carrying out these checks to prevent any such future incidents.
"Our client has had no incidents at all with the police over the eight years of running the restaurant.
"There has been no breach of the peace, no fighting and no disturbances to the local residents."
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article attributed a quote from Metrolaw Solicitors to a spokesman, suggesting a representative of the firm had spoken directly to the Recorder.
We would like to clarify that all quotes used in the article are taken from papers submitted to Redbridge Council's licensing committee.
This has now been amended, and we apologise for any confusion.