Illegal shopworker arrested in Northampton, leaving a queue of bemused customers

The Nisa store in Broadmead Avenue
The Nisa store in Broadmead Avenue

A shopworker was detained by police officers carrying out licensing checks after he left the store and pretended he did not work there.

Gaurav Mehta was spotted leaving Nisa Local in Broadmead Avenue on June 12 by two constables as they approached the store, having been to another run by the same family.

Mehta was on his mobile phone and looked alarmed when he saw the officers so they asked him if he worked there.

Although Mehta denied it, he was undone when customers standing inside said he had only moments ago been working behind the counter.

In a statement to Northampton Borough Council as part of a review of the store's alcohol licence, PC Christopher Stevens said: "As he saw me, he looked panicked.

"I looked into the premises and could see three or four customers looking very confused standing at the till with items waiting to be paid for.

"I asked them if the male I had seen leaving the premises had just been serving and they said that he had been but left abruptly, telling them that the manger was going to come and serve them."

PC Stevens asked Mehta to come back to the shop but he still protested insisting he was a customer and had nothing to do with the shop.

Checks revealed Mehta was an illegal overstayer who had not been heard of by the authorities since 2013.

He was arrested and ultimately dealt with by immigration officers.

A licensing hearing at the Guildhall on Wednesday is set to hear objections by Northamptonshire Police to the renewal of alcohol licences for both the Broadmead Avenue Nisa Local and the Birchfield Road East Nisa, which are run by members of the same family.

Prior to the arrest of Mehta, police had discovered Jasveer Singh working illegally at Birchfield Road East store on June 8.

He had served an underage teenager who was working with police two cans of lager without asking for ID.

He admitted to police he was not legally entitled to work in the UK as his visa was yet to be approved.

Days later, he was spotted by the same officer working at the Birchfield Road East Nisa.

A panel of councillors will decide if there will be any sanctions on Wednesday.