Midhurst Shop License Revoked After Illegal Workers Found

Navaratnam Sathananthan, who operates Holmbush Stores on Holmbush Way, had his license revoked during a meeting of Chichester District Council’s Licensing Subcommittee.

The meeting was told that a tip-off to the Home Office’s South East Immigration Compliance & Enforcement Team (ICE) led police and ICE to the store last November, where the three workers were arrested and detained “until they return.” to be taken to their home country”. home countries’.

One had arrived in the UK in the back of a lorry in 2007, while the others had exceeded their visitor visas by several years.

All three have now applied for asylum.

The Home Office issued a civil criminal complaint that could see Mr Sathananthan face a fine of up to £20,000 for each of the three workers.

The meeting was told all three were paid in cash – and likely below minimum wage – with no taxes or Social Security.

The application for a review of the building’s license was filed by ICE in January on the grounds that the license’s goal of preventing crime and misdemeanor had been “seriously undermined.”

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A representative speaking for Mr Sethananthan said he wanted to apologize to Council, the Home Office and Sussex Police “to show his willingness to understand that he made a mistake”.

He told the meeting that only one of the workers was in business in 2022, when Mr Sathananthan went to Sri Lanka for about a month to attend to “religious and cultural affairs”.

And he claimed that by the time he got back, the other two would have moved in too.

He denied offering the pair any sort of paid work, but confirmed he had paid the first worker £250 a week in cash.

The meeting was also told that his mother had suffered a heart attack and that there were problems with the company’s bank.

The representative said Mr Sathananthan wanted his wife to take up the role of caretaker-designate, adding: “He feels he has let down the council, he has let down the people of the community and he really wants to work to to rebuild the confidence he has built over the last 19 years.”

Henry Potter, who chaired the meeting, described the matter as “very worrying”.

He said Mr Sathananthan had “failed to exercise due diligence in the administration of his licence”, failed to comply with labor law requirements and failed to make “simple arrangements” to carry out his duties when visiting Sri Lanka.

Mr Potter added: “The Sub-Committee understands the personal circumstances of the license holder at the time and apologizes to the Committee for the decisions it made.

“However, it is not satisfied that the permit objective of preventing crime and disorder has been adequately promoted.

“For these reasons, the subcommittee has decided to revoke this operating license.”

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23396615.midhurst-shop-licence-revoked-illegal-workers-found/?ref=rss Midhurst Shop License Revoked After Illegal Workers Found

Fry Electronics Team

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