Restaurant owner was not to blame for illegal workers

POLICE are having to back down after they called for the premises licence of an Indian restaurant to be reviewed following a raid in which illegal workers were caught on site.

Lincolnshire Police requested the review of La Royale, sited on the A17 at North Rauceby, after it was found to be employing illegal workers on its premises, breaching various immigration laws, UK tax and employment laws.

A hearing of the North Kesteven District Council Licensing Sub-Panel is to be held this morning (Wednesday) following a joint operation involving police, the UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs in which three men were arrested last month.

But NKDC licensing officers visited the premises on August 10, when they spoke to Mr Rahman, the licence holder. He produced a letter from the UK Border Agency which effectively exonerated him from any culpability or criminal involvement in the employment of the men.

The letter explained that while the men were in the UK illegally and using forged documents, the Border Agency considered Mr Rahman had exercised due diligence in checking their identity and would not 
have been able to detect 
that the documents were forged.

Lincolnshire Police were unaware of this letter until after they had called for the licensing review and now no longer wish to offer evidence.

The panel has been recommended to take no further action.