Willesden shisha café owner fined for selling illegal tobacco products

Smoking Shisha has now been closed (Pic: Brent Council)

Smoking Shisha has now been closed (Pic: Brent Council) - Credit: Archant

The owner of a now closed shisha café in Willesden has been fined £1,500 for selling illegal tobacco products.

Shisha pipes inside the lounge (Pic: Brent Council)

Shisha pipes inside the lounge (Pic: Brent Council) - Credit: Archant

Rumel Miah, director of Retreat Café Ltd trading as Zayna Egyptian Café and Shisha Bar in the High Road, was fined £750 with costs of £750 by Willesden Magistrates Court.

Mr Miah, who pleaded guilty to all charges, was penalised for allowing customers to smoke in an enclosed area, serving illegal tobacco products, displaying a tobacco menu and failing to display ownership details.

Brent’s Food Safety Team carried out smoke free compliance work with members of Harlesden Police at the premises in July.

Customers who were found smoking there were issued with fixed penalty notices and approximately 15kg of Shisha tobacco was seized.

The court heard Miah had been warned three times by council officers and was aware that what he was doing was wrong and would have received a higher fine if he was not currently unemployed.

The council was also granted a forfeiture order which allows them to destroy the illegal tobacco products.

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Brent Council are currently carrying out a 10-week joint operation with the police to clampdown on the increasing number of shisha venues that continue to break the law.

Smoking Shisha poses the same health risks as cigarette smoking and illegal venues have been found to create smells and noise nuisance, and be places where there is an increased risk of anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “Brent Council takes a zero tolerance approach to any shisha venue that is breaking the law. This new taskforce shows that we are listening to the concerns of residents and taking the issue extremely seriously.

“Too many of Brent’s shisha cafes are in breach of their licences, and in some instances operating illegally without a licence. We are putting the safety and wellbeing of our residents first by cracking down on these venues.

Cllr Harbi Farah, lead member for housing, added: “The message from Brent Council is clear: we will not tolerate any venues that are operating illegally or in breach of their licences. Anyone found to be doing so will face prosecution and be permanently shut down.”