HEREFORDSHIRE Council licensing officers will take no further action on a Leominster restaurant that was caught employing two illegal workers.

A multi-agency team of officers detained the two workers during a visit to the Balti Shabagh on Burgess Street on June 19, 2018.

The restaurant owners have since implemented training recommendations made by council trading standards officers.

Sergeant Duncan Reynolds told last week’s licensing committee meeting that the restaurant was open when immigration officers, police, firemen and council staff visited.

“As we entered one male ran from the premises and was quickly stopped and detained at the rear. The male admitted to working in the kitchen and that he was in the country illegally,” he said.

“A second man who was working as a waiter was also spoken to and it was established that he had a right to be in the UK but was an asylum seeker with no right to work.”

Sergeant Reynolds said there had been an increase in the number of restaurants coming before the licensing committee.

He said illegal workers found at those premises are often housed in substandard or unlawful conditions where there is little fire safety, if any.

A representative for Mokbul Miah, the licence holder, said his client had been working in Leominster for 24 years without coming to the attention of local authorities or the police.

He said: “The matter before you today has come as a great shock and has been a very harsh lesson to him. He has dealt with it in a professional manner since the intervention of the police.”

He said staff had implemented the changes required by trading standards.

Mr Miah said: “I’m really sorry it happened, and it has been a real big shock for me.

“Over the last few weeks I have not had any sleep. I can promise you I will try my utmost to run the business as professionally as I can.”