Shisha cafes in Wembley and Harlesden hit with £14,000 fine

Habaybna on Wembley High Road (Picture: Google)

Habaybna on Wembley High Road (Picture: Google) - Credit: Archant

Directors of two shisha cafés in Wembley and Harlesden have been fined more than £14,000 for flouting the law and operating illegally in the borough.

Arnika in Craven Park Road, Harlesden (Picture: Google)

Arnika in Craven Park Road, Harlesden (Picture: Google) - Credit: Archant

Habaybna on Wembley High Road and Arnika in Craven Park Road are the latest illegally operating shisha businesses to be prosecuted by Brent Council after ignoring warnings.

Emaad Mohammed Altae, director of Habaybna, a repeat offender after a conviction in 2014 for smoke-free violations, was hit with £2,050 in fines and costs at Willesden Magistrates Court on June 27.

The company was fined a further £4,173 after being found guilty of numerous offences which included failure to comply with smoke-free legislation and a number of tobacco related offences.

Arnika and its operators were ordered to pay a total of £8,075 in fines after Brent enforcement officers found customers smoking inside, and also illegal tobacco products during a visit in November 2016.

Managers Mohamed Topaefandyari and Rohallah Toopa Esfandiary were fined £1,300. Mohamed Mohamed Abukar, who was in charge of the day to day running of the venue, was ordered to pay out £1,370. The company was fined a total of £4,105.

In February Brent Council called on the Government for greater powers to be given to local authorities to tackle lawless shisha cafes and want new legislation that recognises shisha as a licensable activity by law so that they can better regulate them.

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Cllr Tom Miller, cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “This is yet another warning to owners of shisha cafes who don’t obey the law and we continue to take action prosecute all venues and their owners who do not comply.

“But there is only so much local authorities and the police can do within the current legislation. Our enforcement team are working extremely hard to tackle rogue shisha venues in the borough but we need the right tools at our disposal to shut these venues down for good.

“We need the Government to give us the powers to take a zero tolerance approach to lawless shisha cafés so we can clamp down on these unlicensed, unaccountable shisha venues and make our borough safer for everyone.”