Immigration raid prompts Billericays Menad restaurant licence review

Menad - Turkish restaurant Billericay

Article by Christine Sexton: A restaurant could lose its licence and faces a £20,000 bill after immigration officials found people working there illegally.

Immigration enforcement officers raided the Menad restaurant in High Street, Billericay, and found two people working illegally.

The restaurant was issued with an illegal working civil penalty referral notice and could face thousands of pounds in fines. Essex Police has now called on Basildon councillors to review the restaurant’s licence.

An application for the licence review reveals the restaurant was raided on November 7 and states:

“On entry a number of persons were detained by immigration officers. Several were found to have no right to work in the UK and no leave to remain in the UK and [were] subsequently detained."

In the application, Essex Police sited crime and disorder as grounds for the review and added the incident amounted to “criminal activity which should be treated particularly seriously”.

A Home Office spokesman said:

“Following an intelligence-led visit by Immigration Enforcement officers to Menad, High Street, Billericay, on 7 November 7, 2019, Turkish Griller Limited was issued a civil penalty of £20,000 in respect of two people encountered at the business who had no right to work. After a civil penalty is issued, employers are granted a period of time during which they can appeal. The case is ongoing."

The popular Turkish restaurant and meze bar has earned glowing reviews on Tripadvisor.

Basildon Council’s licensing sub committee will consider its future on Tuesday.

If the restaurant’s licence is revoked it will be another blow for Billericay High Street which currently has 14 empty units.

The restaurant owner declined to comment.

Article by Christine Sexton, The Gazette