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Warning to shisha cafés after two businesses fined £14,000 for breaching smoke-free laws

The fines come as the borough's council looks to implement a "zero tolerance" policy

Brent council issues 'warning' to rogue shisha cafés in the borough after two illegally operating businesses were fined £14,000(Image: Google)

Shisha cafes in Brent have been ordered to pay £14,000 after failing to comply with the council's warnings over smoking.

Habaybna, of Wembley High Road, and Arnika, located on Craven Park Road in Harlesden were fined for failure to comply with smoke-free legislation and a number of tobacco related offences.

Mr Emaad Mohammed Altae, director of Habaybna, was ordered to pay a total of £2,050 in fines and costs, and the company fined £4,173, after being found guilty of failing to comply with smoking and tobacco laws at Willesden Magistrates Court on Tuesday June 27.

Mr Altae and Habaybna Ltd were also convicted of smoke-free violations in 2014.

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

The owners, Mohamed Topaefandyari and Rohallah Toopa Esfandiary, were ordered to pay a total of £1,300 each while Mohamed Mohamed Abukar, who was in charge of running the shisha café, was ordered to pay a total of £1,370 as the company was fined a total of £4,105.

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A spokesman from Brent Council said: "Both premises had previously received warnings from the council, but chose to ignore them.

"In February this year, Brent Council called on the Government for greater powers to be given to local authorities to tackle lawless shisha cafés which are increasingly blighting neighbourhoods with violence, drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

"Brent are asking that the Home Secretary introduce new legislation that recognises shisha as a licensable activity by law so that local authorities can better regulate them."

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Councillor 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.”

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