Store loses booze licence after employing illegal workers

Revoked: Kwik Saver Local had its booze licence revoked
Revoked: Kwik Saver Local had its booze licence revoked
Share this article
Have your say

An off licence that was found to be employing two illegal immigrants from Pakistan has had its alcohol licence revoked by South Ribble Council.

When police visited Kwik Save Local, on Stanifield Lane, Leyland, in August they found a man who could barely speak English, in charge.

He fled when asked for his passport details and bit an officer during the struggle to catch him.

He later appeared in court for assaulting a policeman and has since been deported.

The licence was revoked by the council’s licensing sub-committee following an application by police to review it.

Licensing officer Sgt Tony Bushell revealed police could not establish who was responsible for the shop.

He said: “ I am pleased the licensing committee have, after hearing all the evidence, decided to reinforce our recommendation and revoked the premises licence. This is the second off licence premises in South Ribble to have its licence revoked where the employment of these individuals has been a factor. We, in conjunction with the Border Agency, have also identified two further South Ribble premises operating in similar circumstances who are subject to review proceedings. We will continue to target those premises where it appears that there is illegal employment taking place.”

A statement to the review panel said: “The police have real concerns about these premises. It is evident that these illegal immigrants are little better than slaves who are forced and live furtive lifestyles while being exploited by their taskmasters.”

Coun John Rainsbury, chair of South Ribble Council’s Licensing Committee, said: “We take any breaches of licensing objectives and conditions very seriously. Employing illegal immigrants is a criminal offence that clearly falls into this category, and members felt we had no alternative in this case but to revoke the licence.”

The hearing also heard some of the people linked with the shop have links to other premises in Lancashire which have been in trouble for selling booze to children.

The premises licence is in the name of Mohammed Shaan Iqbal who also acts as the designated premises supervisor but he was not contactable when police visited and sent him a warning letter.

He later claimed he had sold the premises to another man but no evidence of this has been provided and neither has the licence been transferred to the alleged new owner.

A second illegal worker, who told police he was being paid £5 an hour cash in hand, has applied for asylum.