Two restaurant bosses – one in Blyth and one in Benfleet, Essex - have become the latest to be disqualified as company directors for allowing their companies to employ illegal workers following Insolvency Service investigations.
In the latest disqualifications:
- Raju Ahmed, 34, who ran Maharaj’s Lounge in Blyth (the trading name of Raj’s Lounge Limited), has been disqualified for 7 years for breaking UK immigration laws by employing 3 illegal workers
- Murad Ahmed, 42, the sole registered director of City Restaurants Limited, which traded as Tandoori Parlour in Benfleet, Essex, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for 6 years for causing the company to employ 5 workers who did not have the right to work in the UK.
Raju Ahmed’s disqualification follows collaboration between the Insolvency Service and Home Office Immigration Enforcement (formerly UK Border Agency).
Having inspected Maharaj’s Lounge in June 2012, UK Border Agency officials found that Raju Ahmed, 3 illegal immigrants, and imposed a penalty of £15,000. Having been caught employing illegals, Raju Ahmed transferred the assets out of the company to himself rather than have them taken to pay the fine, as repayment of monies he had loaned to the company totalling in excess of £60,000. The company did not pay the Border Agency penalty, and went into Liquidation in August 2013.
Mr Raju Ahmed gave a disqualification undertaking to the Insolvency Service, from 2 July 2015, not to manage or control a company until July 2022.
Murad Ahmed has given an undertaking that he will not act as a director of a limited company for six years from 25 June 2015, as a result of his conduct as director of City Restaurants Limited.
City Restaurants Limited was formed in December 2007 to operate as an Indian Restaurant. The company went into liquidation in March 2014 with a deficiency of more than £70,000 including £37,500 which was owed to The UK Border Agency in respect of fines imposed for employing illegal workers.
The bans mean that each director may not be a director of a company or be involved in the management of a company in any way for the duration of his disqualification.
Commenting on the disqualifications, Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator with 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 with our colleagues at the Home Office.
These directors sought an unfair advantage over their competitors by employing individuals who did not have the right to work in the UK, in breach of their duties as directors.
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 protections as well as obligations. If you fail to comply with your obligations then the Insolvency Service will investigate you.
These disqualifications follow an announcement by the Insolvency Service in June which saw five directors banned for similar reasons.
Notes to editors
Raj’s Lounge Limited T/A Maharaj’s Lounge (Company No 07421910) was incorporated on 28 October 2010. Raju Ahmed was the sole director of the company. The restaurant was based at 33 Bridge Street, Blyth. Northumberland NE24 2AA.
Raj’s Lounge Ltd was placed into voluntary liquidation on 15 August 2013, with assets of £201, and debts of £ £27,548.
Mr Raju Ahmed is of Blyth, Northumberland.
Murad Ahmed, 42, was the sole director of City Restaurants Limited (Company No. 06444964) which was incorporated in 2007. It was based and traded from Benfleet, Essex and operated as an Indian restaurant.
Mr Murad Ahmed is of Benfleet, Essex and his date of birth is 2 October 1972.
Mr Murad Ahmed has undertaken not to act in the management of a company for a period of six years from 25 June 2015.
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
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, 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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