The boss and manager of a shisha bar in Goodmayes have been hauled before court and ordered to pay fines totalling £10,950 as part of an ongoing council crackdown on rogue operators.
Akash Patel, owner of All Starz Shisha Lounge on Goodmayes Road, and venue manager Sonia Hamid were hit with the hefty fine after being found flouting the law and allowing people to smoke illegally inside the premises.
Council enforcement officers discovered the breaches of anti-smoking legislation during unannounced visits to the building earlier this year.
The case was brought before Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday October 25 where the judge found the duo guilty of allowing people to smoke within substantially enclosed premises.
Patel, from Goodmayes Road, Ilford, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £840. A victim surcharge of £170 was also imposed.
Hamid, from Howards Road, Plaistow, was fined £3,000 in conjunction with costs of £840 and a victim surcharge of £100.
Shisha, or water pipes, are used to smoke mainly flavoured or non-flavoured tobacco or herbal mixtures. Under the Health Act 2006, smoking tobacco or anything containing tobacco, or smoking any other substance in enclosed or substantially enclosed premises, is an offence.
Cllr Bob Littlewood, Cabinet Member for Crime, Safety and Community Cohesion, said: “Our message is very clear, operating illegal shisha venues will not be tolerated and we will take tough action against any business breaking the law or breaching the regulations.
“It is illegal to smoke in enclosed premises used by the public, and in this case both the owner and manager of the venue decided to ignore the legal requirements placed upon them to their detriment.
“It is essential to protect the public from the harmful effects of smoke and we will continue to work hard to enforce the legislation throughout the borough.”