A POPULAR city centre restaurant is due to have its licence to sell alcohol scrutinised after police say they discovered two suspected illegal workers there.

Durham Police say they found two people working at Lebaneat Wrap House, in Claypath, Durham, who they believe do not have the right to work in the UK.

The matter is now being investigated by immigration officials from the Home Office.

The owners of the restaurant, which is one of three in the city, is due to attend a Durham County Council licensing committee next week.

It follows an application by company director Ahmed Sayed to transfer the premises licence to Oksana Sayed, who is manager at the Claypath branch.

Another application has been made to make her the designated premises supervisor.

The outgoing licence holder and designated premises supervisor is understood to be no longer associated with the premises.

The application will be considered by councillors following Durham Police’s objection to the change.

Acting sergeant Dean Haythornthwaite said: “We object under the grounds that we believe this appointment would undermine the objective of the prevention of crime and disorder.

“In lodging this objection I am mindful the Licensing Act tells us this should only be done in exceptional circumstances.”

He added: “There is certain criminal activity that may arise in connection with licensed premises which should be treated particularly seriously.

“These are the use of the licensed premises for employing a person who is disqualified from that work by reason of their immigration status in the UK.”

Durham Police attended the restaurant on August 2, as part of a joint visit by police and immigration enforcement, when they also visited its other premises.

Mr Haythornthwaite added: “On this occasion two people were found to be at work within the premises who did not have the right to work within the United Kingdom, this matter is now subject to investigation by immigration.”

He added: “As manager of the premises I would expect Mrs Sayed to have had a better management of the employees and to have a full understanding of their right to work, or lack of.”

The licensing committee hearing will be heard at County Hall, in Durham, on Tuesday.