Rankin faces charges over illegal workers

| 24/06/2013

(CNS): Although local businessman and former UDP party official Mario Rankin, had claimed that he had addressed the issues relating to his arrest last year concerning alleged immigration offences, the crown is still pressing ahead with its case against him. The former owner of the Brick House and related bars, which he acquired following the eviction of the previous owner, Harri Lalli, appeared in Summary court last week charged with various offences and more than 30 counts of employing a person in contravention of the work permit laws and for operating the business without the right licenses. Since his arrest, Rankin has protested his innocence and has threatened to take legal action over his arrest, which he says was unlawful.

Waide DaCosta appeared for Rankin during his first courtroom appearance last week and had the proceedings adjourned until August.

The 38-year-old local man has implied that the immigration raid at his home in Prospect last year was merely a cover and is still waiting to discover why the authorities have taken such an interest in him.

Rankin has threatened to take legal action against the authorities owing to a number of allegations he has made about his arrest and the way the raid was conducted, including the presence of two UK police officers that are unrelated to the immigration department. This has given rise to Rankin’s suspicions that the authorities are fishing for something else. Rankin is known to be close to the former premier McKeeva Bush, who is currently facing various corruption charges and is still under investigation in relation to a number of other alleged corruption offences.

Rankin said that all of the immigration issues were dealt with, as he had paid fees to expedite the process when he took over the restaurants, and that If there were any issues relating to the hand-over period, these were down to the failure of the immigration department where Rankin once worked.

The businesses, which were known as Brick House,Dog House, Brew House and Oar House, were taken over by Rankin last year but they were recently re-sold to new owners, who are currently renovating the premises.

Aside from the immigration allegations, employees at the Brick House and related business had also complained to the labour agency that the former owner, Lalli, had failed pay pensions, health and vacation entitlements but some are now understood to have now made the same complaints about Rankin also failing to meet his obligations as an employer.

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Category: Crime

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