AN INDIAN restaurant in Swindon faces losing its licence - and therefore possibly being shut down - for employing illegal workers.

The Taj Mahal at Shaw Ridge Leisure Centre in Whitehill Way will have its licensed reviewed next week at the request of the police.

The county force is asking for the premises licence to be entirely revoked on the grounds of crime and disorder - for employing people who are illegally in the UK or who do not have the legal right to work here.

But the owner of the restaurant Mahar Ullah says that people detained by police when they visited were not working there.

The submission from the police’s licensing officer PC Michael Diffin said that after a number of licensing reviews caused by illegal workers, the council and police sent out a letter to all licensed premises, including the Taj Mahal, warning of licensees’ responsibilities

Then when immigration officers and the police visited the premises on June 22 four men from Bangladesh working there were found not to have the right to work in the country.

It added: “There were no records found on the premises to show that any checks has been conducted on workers to ensure they had a right to work in the UK.”

The report adds: “There is evidence illegal workers are paid less than the minimum wage, do not pay tax and may be doing work that breaches health and safety regu- lations.

"Employers may employ illegal workers to exploit a vulnerable person and may be connected with human trafficking.”

A submission by immigration officer Delme Jones said on the evening of the visit: “A male fled through the kitchen door that I was covering and ran straight into my arms.

"He had remained hidden until he thought it was safe to exit.”

Mr Jones report says the man eventually gave his identity as Suhal Ahmad, from Bangladesh.

A transcript of his questioning says he had been working at the restaurant for 18 months and had done so as soon as he moved here.

It is alleged he said he worked seven hours a day five days a week from Friday to Wednesday as a second chef and was paid £250 a week in cash, while his food and accommodation was provided free.

The report says Ahmad promised to show Mr Ullah documents proving he could work in the UK but never did.

But Mr Ullah denies that version of events.

He said: “It’s not like the police say it was.

"The people they detained were not employees. We have the hearing of the review next week and we will defend ourselves.”

The review of the restaurant’s licence will be considered by the licensing panel at 10.30am on Tuesday, October 16 at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street.