Lebaneat restaurant chain loses licence

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Restaurant chain Lebaneat lost the licence for two of its sites in Durham earlier this month after illegal workers were found on the premises.

Both the main site, situated on the North Bailey, and the Lebaneat Wrap House on Claypath were stripped of their licences by the Durham County Council’s Statutory Licensing Committee at a hearing on 5th February.

The owner Ahmed Sayed received a combined fine of £30,000

The owner of the three branches of Lebaneat, Ahmed Sayed, received a combined fine of £30,000 following Home Office investigations, including £20,000 for the Claypath site and a further £10,000 for the North Bailey restaurant.

Speaking at the council’s offices in Spennymoor, Mr Sayed said that measures had been implemented to address concerns, including employing an operations manager, who oversees staff recruitment and restaurant standards.

Inspector Rachel Stockdale stated: “Durham Constabulary will not tolerate anyone using illegal workers.

“Not only is there the cost to the economy and cost to lawful businesses, the workers are exploited due to their vulnerabilities which can lead to modern day slavery and encourages human trafficking.

“Working in partnership with Immigration enforcement, HMIC and County Councils we will always look to work jointly to protect such vulnerable people and Durham Police will take action to prevent exploitation”.“Durham Constabulary will not tolerate anyone using illegal workers”

“Durham Constabulary will not tolerate anyone using illegal workers”

A raid of the premises conducted in August 2018 by the Home Office, revealed that the licence had not been paid for two years.

In 2016, three workers were arrested from the North Road site on suspicion of working illegally.

In the same year, Lebaneat was also given a warning after it was found that one of the workers had overstayed their visa.

Photograph: The Velvet Foxes via Flickr

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