Indian restaurant in Chelmsford sanctioned over illegal workers applies for new licence

An Indian restaurant in Chelmsford that had its previous licence revoked after a multi-agency raid found illegal workers has asked to restart late night operations.

An application has been submitted to Chelmsford City Council to allow Yasmin in Baddow Road to sell alcohol from midday to 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, between midday to 12.30am Friday and Saturday and between midday and 11.30pm on Sunday.

The new application comes after a Chelmsford City Council licensing committee decided in 2020 to revoke the licence held by Yasmin following evidence of poor working conditions for staff. It has since been operating mainly as a takeaway venue.

The meeting held in May 2020 heard evidence that in January that year an ambulance crew attended a call at Yasmin Indian Brasserie, after an employee said they were being paid £3 per hour and being made to work in unsanitary conditions, while experiencing verbal and physical abuse.

This led to a multi-agency raid in February which found four males working illegally, all of whom were arrested on immigration offences.

One was in the kitchen with an apron on and tried to flee so had to be physically detained.

Another was in the kitchen cooking, one was leaving the staff toilets and another in a waiter’s uniform had admitted he was working and hired by the restaurant.

He was the man who had been attended to three weeks earlier by ambulance crews.

Essex Police licensing officer William Moody, who submitted the evidence to the committee during an online meeting also stated that one of the offenders had been found working illegally after an immigration raid in 2014.

A decision notice from the licensing committee said: “Each review application, including the steps (if any) considered appropriate to take in order to promote the licensing objectives, fell to be determined on its own facts.

“The illegal employment of these four individuals on the premises was, by itself, an extremely serious and disconcerting incident justifying revocation. In the view of the committee, the only appropriate step to take in this case was to revoke the licence.”

The Indian restaurant had an application for another licence turned down in 2021 after concerns “there had in reality been a genuine transfer in the management and control of the restaurant business”.

A statement as part of the most recent licence application said: “The premises will operate to a high standard, and will do so should this licence be granted in terms of the sale of alcohol.

“All staff will be fully trained in their responsibilities with regard to the sale of alcohol,and will be retrained every six months, with recorded training records kept for inspection.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter