Three arrests have been made at a shisha cafe following an operation run by Immigration Officials.
As part of the Manchester City Council’s ongoing commitment to safeguard public health two shisha cafes were recently visited to ensure they were not in breach of anti-smoking legislation.
It has been illegal to smoke indoors since the Health Act 2006 was passed into law.
However, when officers entered the Al Qaza café on Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, the premises was incredibly busy, with a large number of patrons smoking shisha indoors.
Officers verbally warned customers at the cafe to stop smoking inside, with all but three stopping when asked.
The three individuals who failed to comply were issued with fixed penalty notices there and then.
Three members of staff were arrested by immigration officials, with two others being removed from the premises. If prosecuted on immigration offences the owner of the café risks a fine of up to £20,000 per individual arrested.
A total of 51 shisha pipes were also seized by the Licensing and Out of Hours team as evidence for future prosecution.
A second location was also visited, Blue Café in Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield. Three fixed penalty notices were issued by council officers to customers, and three shisha pipes were seized as evidence.
The manager was given a verbal warning and will be interviewed under caution at a later date. No arrests were made by immigration officers.
Executive member for Neighbourhoods Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, said: “I hope this sends a clear message to those who break the law and continue to allow smoking to take place indoors.
“Proactive measures like this are about keeping people safe and preventing the damaging impact shisha has on a person’s health. Studies have shown one hour of smoking shisha is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes.
“Credit is due for this successful operation not just to our council Licensing and Out of Hours Team, but our valued partners in Immigration and Greater Manchester Police.”