March 3, 2022 5.00 pm

Grantham restaurant rapped for employing illegal workers

Police say right to work checks were not carried out

A Grantham restaurant will face a licensing panel next week after Lincolnshire Police found two illegal workers on the premises in January.

Nepalese restaurant Fusion Buffet in The George Shopping Centre on the High Street opened in May last year, but officers are now asking for South Kesteven District Council’s licensing committee to “seriously consider a revocation of the premises licence”.

They say the management of the premises has been “operating in such a manner that amounts to criminal activity”.

Documents before the council report how on January 10, Lincolnshire Police and Home Office Immigration officers carried out an “intelligence-led enforcement visit” to the premises.

They said there were three employees including Ishan Acharya, who previously had shared ownership of the restaurant with his brother Manish, along with a waitress and a trainee chef.

Police said both workers had previously been permitted to be employed for seasonal work, but that their visas had expired, meaning they did not have any permission to work in the UK, nor did their original visas allow for restaurant work.

The waitress lived in a flat in Grantham owned by the business, while the chef was a friend who had an outstanding application for asylum lodged with the Home Office.

According to the reports, when spoken to by officers, Marish Acharaya said he had sent right to work check documents to his accountant, but that he had seen the waitress’ permit showing seasonal work only.

Officers say Mr Acharaya had not checked the correct documents and are calling on him to provide evidence of his checks at the review hearing.

It is an offence to employ an illegal worker and employers face action under the Fraud Act as well as civil proceedings from HMRC if found to be breaking the law.

Mr Acharaya has made representation in defence of the review application, however, the council has exempted his report from public viewing.

Mr Acharaya has been contacted for comment.