May 10, 2022 11.26 am This story is over 24 months old

Slavery order against car wash owner who hired illegal workers on little pay

He could face five years in prison if he breaches the order

By Local Democracy Reporter

The owner of a hand car wash in Lincolnshire has been handed a two-year Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order, as magistrates found him to be running an illegitimate business with illegal workers on little to no pay.

Mohamed Hamza, 31, runs the M&H car wash on Enterprise Way in Pinchbeck, and was given the order following a hearing at Boston Magistrates’ Court on Monday, May 9.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority secured the order, which prevents Hamza from recruiting anyone who has no right to work in the UK, among other conditions.

These include a requirement to pay at least the National Minimum Wage, supplying wage slips to all employees, keeping written records of all employees and allowing conditions to be inspected by officers during trading hours.

The final condition forces Hamza to inform the GLAA in writing and prior to any change of operating address for this and any car wash owned or controlled by him.

The 31-year-old, of Gladstone Street in Peterborough, had asked the court to dismiss the application as he believed it was not warranted, though this was swiftly rejected as magistrates told him he completely refused to co-operate with the authorities.

The GLAA were supported in their investigation with additional evidence from Lincolnshire Police and Immigration Enforcement.

GLAA Investigating Officer Dale Walker said: “This is the first order the GLAA has secured in the hand car wash sector and also the first order in Lincolnshire.

“Our joint investigations with partners have indicated that Hamza has employed people for either little or no pay, with no records or contracts of employment.

“We hope this order will put a stop to this behaviour and prevent any further potential exploitation of vulnerable workers.

“We will monitor any hand car wash operated by him closely over the next two years and will not hesitate to take appropriate action should we identify a breach of the order.”

Inspector Fran Harrod of Lincolnshire Police said: “We know that there are areas of employment which may have a higher risk of exploitation, and we dedicate time to identifying those threats, and safeguarding the victims.

“These people are some of the most vulnerable and hidden members of our society, and their voices are completely soundless without intervention.

“This is the culmination of months of hard work by us, the GLAA, Immigration, and Trading Standards, and we are delighted that this is the result.”

If you have concerns that a car wash near you is exploiting its workers, contact the GLAA’s intelligence team on 0800 4320804 or email [email protected].