A premises licence transfer was refused today for a restaurant where five illegal workers were found.

Home Office immigration enforcement officers visiting Miah’s Garden of Gulab, Wokingham Road, on May 13, found the immigration offenders.

A total of 12 men were found to be working illegally across the three restaurants in Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham, all owned by Jamshed Miah.

The application was to transfer the licence to Mr Miah's son Mouadjal Miah, who took over administrative control of the business in October.

Mr Payne said: “We are very surprised indeed that the council as chosen to ignore the very considerable evidence that we presented and are now considering our position as to whether to appeal.

“Miah’s Garden of Gulab will continue to trade.”

The committee felt Mouadjal Miah had insufficient experience of running such a business and were not confident that the licensing objectives would be upheld.

They were also concerned that Jamshed Miah would continue as the designated premises supervisor (DPS) and influence his son.

Legal representative Jon Payne said the right to work eligibility of every single worker has been checked since Mouadjal Miah took control of the business, and this now happens before a worker has any involvement at the restaurant.

He offered to also transfer DPS to Mr. Miah Jr if the committee preferred.

The transfer would have switched responsibility for the licence from Jamshed Miah to his son.

Thames Valley Police officer Simon Wheeler objected to the licence transfer, believing it had been submitted to circumvent the licensing process.

He also cited the link between the old and proposed new licence holder as a reason to refuse.

Mr Payne argued that Mr Miah Jr. should not be tarred with the same brush as his father, but the officer countered that the father is the majority owner and would continue to be working at the business.

The restaurant’s licence was revoked on November 1. Garden of Gulab cannot sell alcohol 21 days after this date.

Mr Miah is also the owner of Miah's restaurants in Pangbourne, West Berkshire and Spencers Wood, Wokingham; both lost their licences last month.

The business faces a potential fine of £220,000 from the Home Office for the the illegal workers found at the three restaurants.

Mr Miah also applied to West Berkshire Council to transfer the premises licence to his son at the Pangbourne restaurant, which will be heard onTuesday, November 13 at 10am.