Director of Gosport take-away banned for employing illegal workers
Mohammed Zahed Ahmed, the director of Unique Flavours Limited, a take-away restaurant, trading under the name Bay Leaves has been disqualified for five years.
The disqualification from 13 March 2017 prevents Mr Ahmed from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company until March 2022.
Mr Ahmed’s disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service which found he had failed to ensure relevant immigration checks were completed and documents retained, resulting in the employment of an illegal worker and which resulted in a penalty notice of £30,000 being issued by the Home Office.
Aldona O’Hara, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service said:
The Insolvency Service rigorously pursues directors who fail to pay fines imposed by the government for breaking employment and immigration laws. We have worked closely in this case with our colleagues at the Home Office to achieve this disqualification.
The director sought an unfair advantage over his competitors by employing an individual who did not have the right to work in the UK in breach of his duties as a director.
The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences. Running a limited company, means you have statutory obligations as well as protections. If you fail to comply with your obligations then the Insolvency Service will investigate you.
Notes to editors
Unique Flavours Limited (Company Registration No. 08348016) was incorporated on 4 January 2013 and traded from 121 Stoke Road, Gosport, Portsmouth P012 ILR.
Mohammed Zahed Ahmed (date of birth 24 April 1985) was the sole registered director from 4 January 2013, the date of incorporation, until liquidation.
The company went into liquidation on 13 May 2016. On 20 February 2017, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Mr Ahmed, effective from 13 March 2017, for a period of five years.
The matters of unfit conduct being that: Mohammed Zahed Ahmed failed to ensure that Unique Flavours Limited complied with its obligations in accordance with The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and employed illegal workers.
This led to a penalty of £30,000, which materially contributed to the insolvency of Unique Flavours Limited in that:
- Mohammed Zahed Ahmed was sole appointed director of Unique from 4 January 2013, the date of incorporation, until the date of liquidation
- on 9 October 2015 Home Office Immigration Enforcement (HOIE) officers visited the company’s trading premises and the company was found to be employing two illegal workers
- on 24 November, 2015 HOIE issued a Notification of Liability for a Civil Penalty to Unique in respect of a suspected breach of section 15 of the Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, in the sum of £30,000 in respect of the company’s employment of two illegal workers, payment of which was due on or before 24 December 2015
- as the sole registered director of Unique, Md Zahed Ahmed was responsible for ensuring that the company complied with all relevant legislation, including legislation relating to the employment of persons eligible to work.
- no payments were made against the civil penalty and this sum remained outstanding at liquidation.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.
The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.
BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.
The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
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Published: 7 April 2017
From: The Insolvency Service