West Country man pleads guilty to charges in connection with a £5m poultry business.
Kamran Ajaib and his company Hamza Poultry Ltd pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court on 10 September to eighteen charges concerning the unregistered multi million illegal poultry supply business he ran from a warehouse on Fishponds Trading Estate.
A complaint from a local resident after finding a piece of wire in a chicken portion from a takeaway sparked the investigation.
Environmental Health Officers tracked the meat supplier to a company known only to its customers as Hamza but they quickly discovered the company, which was not registered with Bristol City Council, was advertising openly on specialist catering supplier pages on the web, It was raided in May last year.
Analysis by the officers showed that at least twenty tonnes of chicken and beef was processed every week and sold across a wide area along the M4 and M5 corridors, from Swindon to Caerphilly and along the M5 from Bristol to the Forest of Dean and North to Gloucester. Local Council staff worked under the guidance of Bristol officers to gather the
evidence of sales across these areas.
"We found four tonnes of chicken and beef in a unit which though in an unfinished state was in daily use as a poultry cutting plant. The premises were in a very poor state and with serious hygiene defects, which would have precluded the company from being approved as a cold store or cutting plant, had they applied," said John Barrow Principal Environmental Officer for Bristol City Council.
He will be sentenced after reports on the company finances.
Kamran Ajaib pleaded guilty to nine charges on his own behalf and indicated guilty pleas on behalf of the company to a further nine similar charges.
Bristol City Council's Cabinet Member for Communities Cllr Guy Poultney said: "This was an extraordinary case: the company was selling sub-standard food over a huge area to restaurants, takeaways and supermarkets that were unknowingly serving it to the public. They were running a multi-million pound illegal operation that put the public and local businesses at risk. Conditions on the premises were frankly unbelievable."