Owners of three shisha bars in Brent are fined for flouting the smoking ban
PUBLISHED: 15:28 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:09 21 June 2013
Backyard Lebanese Cafe & Shisha Lounge, the Maya Lounge and Casa Del Leione allowed customers to smoke on their premises
The owners of three shisha bars in Brent have been fined for flouting the smoking ban.
All three were hauled before the courts after officers from Brent’s consumer and business protection team caught them allowing customers to use shisha pipes inside their premises.
Mahmoud El Omari, owner of Backyard Lebanese Cafe & Shisha Lounge, in Blackbird Hill, Wembley, admitted failing to prevent customers smoking on his premises and was fined £750 plus a £75 victim surcharge.
Fadi Antar and Yousif Ali, director and manager (respectively) of the company Eight and Three Ltd were also convicted of failing to prevent smoking in their café, the Maya Lounge in Harrow Road, Sudbury.
Both were fined £1,000 plus £100 victim surcharge each and ordered to pay £435 in costs each to Brent Council, totalling £4605.
The two owners of Casa Del Leione in High Street, Harlesden, were fined in their absence after they failed to turn at court.
Salam Ismail and Saeed Mohamed Abdi, were also convicted for failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free place.
Both were given a £1,500 fine plus a £150 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £653 in costs each to the council, totalling £4,606.
At the time of the offence on December 7 last year, Mr Abdi, the manager, said; “I thought smoking of non-tobacco shisha molasses was allowed.”
However closer examination of the shisha products on sale in the bar found that the shisha molasses did contain tobacco.
He was also warned that it is a criminal offence to allow smoking in enclosed or substantially enclosed commercial premises and all persons convicted will also receive a criminal record.
In addition to the prosecutions, which were all heard at Willesden Magistrates’ Court, five customers were issued with fixed penalty notices.
Bill Bilon, Brent’s Head of Consumer and Business Protection, said: “Smoking regulations are there to protect public health but there is a common misconception that smoking shisha is less bad for your health.
“This is not the case, in fact, arguably shisha is more harmful than smoking cigarettes because it is done over a prolonged amount of time. Also shisha itself often contains toxic materials, such as arsenic and heavy metals that are extremely hazardous.
“I hope that these three successful prosecutions -- and the substantial fines imposed on the owners of the businesses in question -- send out a strong message that flouting smoke free laws is a serious offence that we are determined to eradicate in Brent.”