13 March 2017
Bosses of a death-trap shisha bar in Manchester have been ordered to hand over £300,000 to the authorities, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Back in 2013, Wali Yaqub and Tajamul Khan ran the Oasis Lounge, a shisha bar which repeatedly flouted fire safety regulations. The premises had no working fire alarm and barrels of diesel, bags of rubbish and cardboard boxes blocked fire escapes.
Mr Yakub and Mr Khan repeatedly ignored warnings to rectify the problems and were both jailed following a prosecution brought by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
Now the authorities have gone after the thousands they made from the business while putting customers’ lives at risk.
Mr Yaqub was last year ordered to pay £138,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act and £9,000 costs. He is currently serving 27 months behind bars for the fire safety breaches and skipping bail.
Now his business partner Mr Khan, who served 14 months for fire safety breaches, has been ordered to pay £171,000 and £6,000 in costs.
They both face more jail-time if they fail to pay.
Peter O’Reilly, County Fire Officer, said: “This has been a landmark case for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and should send a clear message to those who put the public at risk that crime does not pay.
“It has taken over four years to finalise this case because Yaqub and Khan repeatedly failed to accept responsibility for their actions and continued with a web of deceit.
“GMFRS will support legitimate businesses to meet their obligations but will continue to pursue those who gamble with the lives of others to line their own pockets.”