Exploitation

The Capri pizza take-away in Market Rasen , where an Egyptian was found to be working illegally during an August raid.
The Capri pizza take-away in Market Rasen , where an Egyptian was found to be working illegally during an August raid.
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A second Market Rasen food outlet has been busted by immigration officers for employing illegal workers at less than the minimum wage.

A second Market Rasen food outlet has been busted by immigration officers for employing illegal workers at less than the minimum wage.

A police and Immigration Office raid in August uncovered an Egyptian working unlawfully at Capri Pizza in King Street, Market Rasen.

The police say the worker had been working illegally at the pizza take-away for two years, receiving £4 an hour ‘cash in hand.’

On Friday, West Lindsey District Council revoked the Capri’s premises Licence, meaning the outlet can no longer serve food after 11pm.

Its now revoked licence, held by Four Seasons (Lincs) Ltd, allowed it to serve food until 1am. A police report says the premises was visited in August and a male was found to have overstayed in the UK with no entitlement to work.

There were no issues with the four other workers, but one of those present identified himself as the owner and manager of the premises. He said he had bought the premises licence from another man.

“This indicates a direct lack of control or supervision from the actual licence holder whose identity remains unknown,” it said.

“The registered address of the licence holder on the licence is 16 King Street, the address of Capri Pizza, this is clearly not the case.

“Admissions were made straight away and it was stated that the illegal immigrant had worked at the premise for two years on a ‘cash in hand’ basis,” it said.

The report also said Licence Holders should know who they are employing and they are negligent not to do so, unless they are actively employing illegal immigrants.

Illegal workers, the report continued, are prone to exploitation from employers, do not receive the minimum wage, they live in the most basic accommodation and are not protected by employment law.

“In this case, the male arrested stated he was paid £40 per day, which equates to approximately £4 an hour. This is approximately 33% less than the current minimum wage, which is £6.31.

“Allowing these premises to continue to operate with the benefits of a premises licence will merely serve to perpetuate the criminal activity and human exploitation already apparent from the findings of this Immigration and police visit. It would allow the premise to continue with the use of a licence that is not held by any responsible person who takes an active interest in the business,” it concluded.

Owner manager Ibrahim Domaa told the Rasen Mail he did not know the Egyptian was illegal.

“Every time I was asking him to bring in documents, he made excuses.”

Now, he says he faces a fine of £10,000 which he says threatens the business.

“I have a penalty to pay, £10,000. I don’t know if I can afford that. £10,000 is a lot of money. I am struggling here. I have a lot of bills to pay. It’s hard for me to provide, it’s not good news.

“I will try and see how it goes.”

A meeting of Licensing sub-committee agreed with the police and revoked the premises licence, saying it was “satisfied that the business employed someone who was not entitled to work in the UK.”

“Whilst it is noted that documents were asked for these documents were not provided, despite the employee failing to provide the documents, the manager retained his services for two years. For these reasons, the Sub-Committee considers that it must revoke the licence, even though this is the first occasion,” a council statement added.