Regulations & PoliciesRestaurants

Restaurant closed following raid

A Wokingham restaurant has been closed following a raid by immigration officials who arrested an illegal immigrant.

Wokingham Council were yet to make a decision regarding the licence renewal application for the Haweli restaurant, however the Home Office asked the council to review its licence leading to its closure.

If the Home Office believes that the restaurant will not meet conditions regarding the prevention of crime and disorder it has the right to ask for a review.

It was not the first time the restaurant had been raided, the restaurant has seen several people arrested across two raids since November.

A hearing was due on 9 May however it was deferred to 29 May by which time Haweli had moved out.

The manager Shez Begum told media that the recently arrested man was not an employee and simply lived in the flat above.

Begum said: “We own the downstairs restaurant and one of the flats but the rest is let separately. It used to be a hotel and we use one of the flats for our staff accommodation and changing rooms.

“We gave the details of all the employees working to the Home Office. Due to a previous visit, we have to keep records.”

The previous raids happened under a different manager, when the restaurant was temporarily closed and issued with a civil penalty of £45,000.

Wargrave Parish Council originally had no objection to the licence being renewed before the Home Office asked for a review.

Councillor Norman Jorgensen, told media: “The Home Office immigration department applied for a review of the Wargrave Haweli restaurant’s licence.

“Following the hearing on Tuesday, May 29, the Home Office withdrew the application following the transfer of the licence to the owner of the new business at the premises.”

Haweli’s sister branch in Twyford is still open and was also the subject of raids in 2014 and 2017.

Haweli refused to comment when contacted by Catering Today.

Back to top button