The director of a Leicester-based clothing manufacturing company has been banned from working as a director for nine years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Ilyas Abdulsattar Umerji Nagia has been handed the ban for hiring illegal workers at his business House of Creation and for leaving a £1m gap in its accounts.
Nagia has given an undertaking not to act as a company director until 27 December 2021.
The UK Border Agency carried out an initial raid on the trading premises of the company on 16 February 2011, detaining 16 of its employees after it discovered that they did not have permission to work in the UK. Nagia, who employed around 25 people, was in India at the time of the raid.
House of Creation was fined £80,000, based on penalties of £5,000 for each worker, but it failed to pay.
The company entered liquidation in May 2011 with debts of more than £240,000, including the fine which remains unpaid.
The Insolvency Service conducted an investigation and found that inadequate checks had resulted in the hiring of illegal workers. At least 10 of those were paid less than the national minimum wage.
The investigation also uncovered a £1m hole in the company’s accounts after the amount had been withdrawn in cash in the final two years of trading, but with no record of where it had gone.
Nagia told investigators that the business had suffered from a combination of the economic downturn and an increase in the national minimum wage.
Robert Clarke, head of company investigations Birmingham, said that directors have a duty to the local community, the jobs market and the wider economy to ensure that their business adheres to the employment regulations.
He added: “The undertaking signed by Ilyas Abdulsattar Umerji Nagia sends a clear message to other company directors that if you run a business which contravenes employment regulations, either wilfully or through negligence, you could be not only risking a sizeable fine from the UK Border Agency but also removal from the business environment for a lengthy period.”