Press release

Restaurant bosses disqualified over illegal workers.

Syed Asad Ali (“Mr Ali”) and Motiour Rahman (“Mr Rahman”), directors of TAJ Brasserie Limited (“TAJ”) have been disqualified for 8 years for causing or allowing TAJ to employ 11 illegal workers in contravention of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and making a payment of £49,500 after trading had ceased, to the detriment of TAJ’s creditors.

Mr. Ali’s and Mr Rahman’s disqualifications follow an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Both Mr Ali (56) and Mr Rahman (43) have given undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skill, which prevents them from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 8 years from 5 December 2014.

The matters of unfitness that Mr. Ali and Mr Rahman accepted in the Disqualification Undertaking were that:
They caused or allowed TAJ Brasserie Limited (“TAJ”) to employ 11 illegal workers, in contravention of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

Commenting on the disqualification, Sue Macleod, Chief Investigator at The Insolvency Service, said:

The directors sought an unfair advantage over their competitors by employing individuals who did not have the right to work in the UK. The Insolvency Service rigorously investigates directors who breach employment and immigration legislation and this ban should act as a warning to other employers who are flouting the law.

Following a visit on 5 December 2012 from the UK Border Agency (“UKBA”), trading ceased on 31 December 2012 and TAJ went into liquidation.

Notes to editors

TAJ Brasserie Limited (CRO No. 06952476) was incorporated on 6 July 2009. The company traded from 41 High Street, Winterbourne, Bristol, BS36 1JG; this was also the registered office.

Syed Asad Ali was appointed director from 6 July 2009. He is of Bridgend and his date of birth is 18 December 1957.

Motiour Rahman was appointed as secretary from 6 July 2009. He is of Bristol and his date of birth is 14 September 1971.

The company went into Liquidation on 24 July 2013. On 14 November 2014 the Secretary of State accepted Disqualification Undertakings from Mr. Ali and Mr Rahman, effective from 5 December 2014, for a period of 8 years.

The full matters of unfitness that Mr. Ali accepted in the Disqualification Undertaking were that:

I caused or allowed TAJ Brasserie Limited (“TAJ”) to employ 11 illegal workers, in contravention of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Following a visit on 5 December 2012 from the UK Border Agency (“UKBA”), trading ceased on 31 December 2012 and TAJ went into liquidation.

On 30 May 2013, after trading had ceased and when I knew or ought to have known TAJ was insolvent, I caused TAJ to make a payment of £49,500 to the detriment of TAJ’s creditors and to my own benefit. In particular:

On 5 December 2012, TAJ was notified that it was potentially subject to a fine by the UK Border Agency (“UKBA”), which TAJ estimated to be £70,000;

On 31 December 2012 TAJ ceased trading;

From 2 April 2013, HM Revenue & Customs was in communications with TAJ regarding its accounting for Pay As You Earn/National Insurance Contribution, and on 23 July 2013 raised an assessment of £37,837, plus interest;

On 16 April 2013, TAJ approached the liquidators for insolvency advice;

On 30 April 2013, TAJ paid a cheque for £49,500 to an associated party. The cheque cleared on 2 May 2013, leaving a bank balance of £193;

At liquidation, TAJ had liabilities of at least £43,035 and assets of £10,000.

The full matters of unfitness that Mr. Rahman accepted in the Disqualification Undertaking were that:

“I caused or allowed TAJ Brasserie Limited (“TAJ”) to employ 11 illegal workers, in contravention of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Following a visit on 5 December 2012 from the UK Border Agency (“UKBA”), trading ceased on 31 December 2012 and TAJ went into liquidation.

On 30 May 2013, after trading had ceased and when I knew or ought to have known TAJ was insolvent, I caused TAJ to make a payment of £49,500 to the detriment of TAJ’s creditors and to my own benefit. In particular:

On 5 December 2012, TAJ was notified that it was potentially subject to a fine by the UK Border Agency (“UKBA”), which TAJ estimated to be £70,000;

On 31 December 2012 TAJ ceased trading;

From 2 April 2013, HM Revenue & Customs was in communications with TAJ regarding its accounting for Pay As You Earn/National Insurance Contribution, and on 23 July 2013 raised an assessment of £37,837, plus interest;

On 16 April 2013, TAJ approached the liquidators for insolvency advice;

On 30 April 2013, TAJ paid a cheque for £49,500 to an associated party. The cheque cleared on 2 May 2013, leaving a bank balance of £193;

At liquidation, TAJ had liabilities of at least £43,035 and assets of £10,000.”

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;
  • act as an insolvency practitioner; or
  • be a receiver of a company’s property.

In addition 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 can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/information-about-company-director-disqualification

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 from: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service

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