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News & Views

Bangladeshi restaurateur jailed for immigration offences

Bangladeshi restaurant owner

Khandakar Mohammad Wahiduzzaman has been sentenced to 23 months in jail after admitting a charge of facilitating illegal working in the UK. In two visits, the UK Border Agency found illegal migrants living and working at his Anamika restaurant in Cumbria.

According to a spokesman for the UK Border Agency, “This is an example of a man who disregarded the law in

order to profit from employing illegal immigrants, who work for little or no pay and receive a poor standard of accommodation. Wahiduzzaman has earned a living through exploitation of his staff, and by avoiding taxes and national insurance payments that other legitimate employers would have had to pay.”

Curry feeds the 5000

As part of efforts to encourage households and businesses to cut food waste, Trafalgar Square was turned into a giant restaurant one Friday lunchtime. The Feeding the 5000 team – a coalition of Fareshare, FoodCycle, Love Food Hate Waste and Friends of the Earth, led by food waste expert Tristram Stuart – treated 5000 diners to a free curry using food that would otherwise have been wasted, such as cosmetically imperfect fresh fruit and vegetables.

The misshapen ingredients were supplied directly by farmers who sell their goods to supermarkets. Most

supermarkets have strict cosmetic standards, so if a carrot is too long or slightly bent, it either goes in the bin or is left out in the field and simply ploughed back into the ground. At the Trafalgar Square event this did not happen and all food was there to be eaten.

As well as the 5000 portions of curry on offer, a live cooking tent showed the public how to cook and eat discarded bits of animals such as hearts, lungs and offal.

London mayor, Boris Johnson, dished out the first portion of free curry and is a big supporter of the scheme. Boris,

who sampled the curry on offer, has been working with the London Food Board to raise awareness of waste and is urging businesses and the public to reduce the mountains of food needlessly thrown away. He said enough food to fill 11,720 double decker buses, or the Albert Hall 15 times over, is binned every year in London.

“Throwing away mountains of perfectly edible food is crazy at a time when all Londoners are feeling the pinch,” Boris said. “I want to do all I can to help people to cut waste, save cash by doing so and improve our great city.”

Kuldeep buys back Mela chain

Businessman Kuldeep Singh has bought back the Mela restaurant group after originally selling the company in 2008 to the Indian Restaurants Group (IRG). Kuldeep originally stayed on as director before leaving the company at the start of 2011.

Having now acquired the business from IRG, the restaurateur has changed the

Spice Business Magazine 12 January 2012

name to the Mela Group of Restaurants and his role now encompasses that of both CEO and executive chef. The group currently comprises five res- taurants across the country and also includes a franchise to cook for events at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground.

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