New restaurant boss faces losing licence

Tiamo restaurant in Sleaford - under new ownership. EMN-181030-121820001
Tiamo restaurant in Sleaford - under new ownership. EMN-181030-121820001

The new owner of a Sleaford restaurant could face losing her premises licence, having only just taken over the business from its former owner who was jailed for tax fraud.

Lincolnshire Police have called for a review of the premises’ licence of Tiamo Italian Restaurant in Sleaford Market Place and Tiamo Pizza of North Hykeham.

The circumstances will be studied by members of North Kesteven District Council’s Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Sub Committee this morning (Wednesday).

According to a report to the committee, the licence for the North Hykeham premises is held by Mr Fathi Zureiqi and the licence for the Sleaford premises is held by Samantha Pavlou who took over from Mr Zureiqi on October 17, 2018.

On August 6, Mr Zureiqi was convicted of tax evasion to the tune of £175,000 and was jailed for 18 months. Lincoln Crown Court was told that over a three year period he had failed to declare takings of almost £400,000 which had gone through the tills.

Zureiqi, 48, of St Catherines, Lincoln, admitted evasion of VAT between November 3, 2011 and May 1, 2016. He also admitted evasion of income tax between April 5, 2011 and April 6, 2014.

Lincolnshire Police state they have requested the premises licences to be revoked on the grounds that the licence holder was not preventing crime and disorder.

The committee papers state the North Hykeham pizza restaurant and takeaway was operated by Mr Zureiqi from November 2010. The Sleaford restaurant was operated by him from May 2014 until new owner, Samantha Pavlou transferred the licence to herself.

Officers state: “Ms Pavlou was not associated with either of the premises before the licence transfer application submitted on October 17, 2018. The transfer is an essential step when a new owner takes on a licensed business.

“Ms Pavlou, the new owner and operator of the Sleaford premises states that she has no connection to the previous operator. She intends to make a fresh start and will not be employing any of the staff from the previous operation.”