Edinburgh '˜curry king' in hot water over £229,000 tax bill

Tommy MiahTommy Miah
Tommy Miah
SCOTLAND'S 'curry king' Tommy Miah has been barred from being a company director for seven years after running up a tax debt of £229,000.

The Capital restaurateur, along with his wife Anwara, failed to keep accounts for the company behind award-winning eatery The Raj in Blackhall.

The Evening News understands Miah, 59, now faces being stripped of his MBE and the threat of criminal proceedings and a fine or even prison.

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Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigation at the Insolvency Service said: “Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency.

“Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.”

Miah and his 58-year-old wife are disqualified as directors for seven years.

They were both on the board of Murrayfield Developments Limited, which was incorporated in 2004 and traded as The Original Raj Hotel in Edinburgh. The Miahs were joint directors of MDL from 2012 until it ceased trading in November 2015 and plunged into liquidation the following month owing creditors over £260,000.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service, which followed the liquidation, led to a civil trial.

No company accounts meant there was no paper trail for more than £1 million paid out from the company’s bank account, including cheques written to cash after the commencement of winding up proceedings.

The sheriff heard this was aggravated by the directors’ failure to provide a statement of affairs to the liquidator.

It was also found the Miahs caused MDL to trade to the detriment of HMRC whilst insolvent from 1 January 2014 to the date of liquidation resulting in a tax debt of at least £228,920.

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In the absence of either of the husband and wife team at the court hearing, the sheriff granted a disqualification order against both the pair.

It marks a spectacular fall from grace for Miah who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year for his services to the hospitality industry and charity.

In 1991, he founded the International Indian Chef of the Year Competition, to promote innovation and quality in Indian cooking.

Other accolades include delivering a curry lunch-box to 10 Downing Street for the then Prime Minister John Major’s 50th birthday and cooking the world’s largest curry.

He also raised funds for the Sreepur Village Orphanage in his native Bangladesh and Cancer Research UK.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office confirmed honours can be revoked if a recipient brings the system into “disrepute”.

This could be if sentenced to more than three months in prison or struck off by a relevant regulatory body.

Efforts to contact Mr Miah for comment were unsuccessful yesterday.