Restaurant stripped of alcohol licence makes new council application

The Jalsa Ghar restaurant in Dunmow. Picture: GOOGLE

The Jalsa Ghar restaurant in Dunmow. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

A restaurant has been accused of attempting to “pull the wool over the authorities’ eyes” by the police, after applying for a new licence to sell alcohol.

The Queen Victoria, in Dunmow, had its premises licence revoked in September 2018 and was served with a civil penalty after a raid in July in which four people suspected of working illegally were found.

Previously, the business had been raided in 2013, 2014 and 2016 with illegal workers found on each occasion, resulting in a total of 19 people being detained, including the workers found in the most recent raid.

Within a month of its licence being revoked in September 2018, the business applied for a new licence, which was turned down by Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

Essex Police has lodged an objection to the new application, which is to be considered on July 25 by UDC's licensing and environmental health committee. At the time of each of the raids, the company was owned and operated by Aldbrook Ltd, which still owns the business. The current application is in the name of Fazlul Bari Choudhury, who was the director of Aldbrook Ltd during the previous raids and continues to be a director.

The report reads: "The premises' recent history under the leadership of the very same persons demonstrates that there have been no lessons learnt here and this is merely an attempt to get the applicant's own way and reinstate the business.

"The application before the sub-committee is, in the police's view, just another attempt to 'pull the wool' over the authorities' eyes.... There is no suggestion that the company has been sold to outside independent interests, or that management control has changed, therefore there is significant scope to suggest the crime and disorder objective."

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"There is a clear pattern of behaviour from the business concerning the employment of persons who are disqualified from work by reasons of their immigration status. Despite numerous changes in directors and shareholders of the legal entity, Essex Police are of the opinion that there has not been a significant enough change in the way the business will be managed to allay these concerns."

The Queen Victoria was approached for comment by this newspaper but did not respond.