Press release

Five year ban for takeaway company secretary after suppressing takings

Mr Safiullah Alam, who was the company secretary of AGF Cuisine Ltd, a takeaway restaurant in East London, has been disqualified for five years.


The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Alam, disqualifying him for five years from 15 December 2017.

An Insolvency Service investigation found Mr Alam caused inaccurate statutory VAT returns to be submitted to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on behalf of AGF Cuisine Ltd. Although not formally appointed as a director of AGF Cuisine Ltd, his role in the company was that of a director.

Mr Alam’s disqualification follows collaboration between the Insolvency Service and HMRC.

An in depth HMRC investigation including a till interrogation, revealed suppression of takings and also identified sales from debit/credit card takings that had been omitted from submitted VAT returns. In total, HMRC raised assessments of £54,829 and a penalty of £26,536 to the company deeming the actions were deliberate.

At liquidation the company was stated as owing in excess of £187,000 to HMRC in relation to arrears of VAT, PAYE and National Insurance Contributions, Corporation Tax and penalties.

Commenting on the disqualification, Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Investigations for the Insolvency Service said:

Much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid. By not declaring and paying the correct amount of taxes, the public has been deprived from receiving the services it deserves from the public sector.

The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to take action against directors so they cannot abuse limited liability provided by trading through a company.

Notes to editors

Safiullah Alam, 45, was a Company Secretary AGF Cuisine Ltd (Company number 08042925), which was incorporated in April 2012.

Safiullah Alam, of London, date of birth August 1972, has been disqualified for a period of 5 years commencing from 15 December 2017.

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 22 December 2017