Illegal shisha café owner smoked out in court

4 November 2016

 

The owner of a now closed down shisha café in Willesden has been successfully prosecuted by Brent Council. Brent are currently carrying out a 10 week joint operation with the Police to clampdown on the increasing number of shisha venues that continue to break the law.

 

Smoking Shisha poses the same health risks as cigarette smoking and illegal venues have been found to create smells and noise nuisance, and be places where there is an increased risk of anti-social behaviour.

 

On 1 November Mr. Rumel Miah director of Retreat Café Ltd trading as Zayna Egyptian Café and Shisha Bar pleaded guilty to all offences and was fined £750 and costs of £750 by Willesden Magistrates Court on 1 November

 

The premises at 224 High Road Willesden, NW10, closed down have since closed down but Mr Miah was penalised for:

  • Allowing customers to smoke in a substantially enclosed area
  • Serving illegal tobacco products
  • Displaying a tobacco menu
  • Failing to display ownership details

The prosecution follows a visit in July by Brent's Food Safety Team who carried out smoke free compliance work with members of Harlesden Police. Customers who were found smoking there were issued with fixed penalty notices and approximately 15kg of Shisha tobacco was seized.

 

In court the Magistrate said that he had been warned three times by the Food Safety Team and was aware that what he was doing was wrong and would have received a higher fine if he was not currently without a job or income. The Magistrate also granted a forfeiture order so that the Council can destroy the illegal tobacco products.

 

Leader of Brent Council, Councillor Muhammed Butt, said:

 

"Brent Council takes a zero tolerance approach to any shisha venue that is breaking the law. This new taskforce shows that we are listening to the concerns of residents and taking the issue extremely seriously.

 

"Too many of Brent's shisha cafes are in breach of their licences, and in some instances operating illegally without a licence. We are putting the safety and wellbeing of our residents first by cracking down on these venues.

 

Lead Member for Housing, Councillor Harbi Farah, added:

 

"The message from Brent Council is clear: we will not tolerate any venues that are operating illegally or in breach of their licences. Anyone found to be doing so will face prosecution and be permanently shut down.