Tax-avoiding Aberdeen restaurateur faces business ban

Aberdeen restaurateur Syed Shabbi Ahmed, who funnelled £800,000 of customer payments into a secret bank account, has been banned from running a business for 11 years.

Tax-avoiding Aberdeen restaurateur faces business ban

Mr Ahmed avoided the tax authorities for over three years until a financial downturn resulted in an investigation into his finances.

He operated the Indian restaurant Jewel In The Crown in Aberdeen’s city centre.

The Insolvency Service initiated an investigation into his activities after the firm he was the sole director of, Blue Mango Tree Ltd, went into liquidation in September 2018. Officials discovered that when customers used the restaurant’s card payment machine payments were made directly into Blue Mango’s undeclared account.

It was found that between February 2014 and November 2017, nearly £800,000-worth of payments made by customers went to that second undeclared account.

Investigators into Mr Ahmed’s case also found that the businessman had transferred £123,000 to himself and withdrew a further £535,000. As a result, the tax authorities were owed just under £570,000 in the liquidation of the company.

Mr Ahmed admitted his failure to declare £797,587 of payments received to the tax authorities. He has subsequently been banned for 11 years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

The ban against Mr Ahmed came into effect from 29th November 2019, The Press and Journal reports.

Robert Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Syed Ahmed knew exactly what he was doing when he diverted funds for his own purposes, in an attempt to avoid paying the tax authorities what they were rightfully owed.

“This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to help themselves first – you have a duty to your creditors and if you neglect this duty, you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service, with the possibility of losing the privilege of limited liability trading.”

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