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Crack cache in Caribbean restaurant’s cooking pots

Hackney Council tweeted the photo showing police and council officers officially temporarily closing the takeaway. Hackney Council tweeted the photo showing police and council officers officially temporarily closing the takeaway.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
9:32 AM

Wraps of crack cocaine and cannabis were found stashed away in cooking pots containing food and bins at a Caribbean restaurant in Dalston.

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Wraps of crack cocaine and cannabis were found stashed away in cooking pots containing food and bins at a Caribbean restaurant in Dalston.

Police say they discovered the Class A and B drugs at Casablanca in Sandringham Road, Dalston, after they obtained a search warrant last month.

The takeaway, which has been causing “years of misery for neighbours” according to Hackney Council, was ordered to close until November on Monday at Thames Magistrates Court.

Neighbours of the restaurant have reported anti-social behaviour taking place in and around the club, including people dealing class A drugs and cannabis at the premises and noise from a night club that was operating from its basement.

In response to these concerns, the council and police executed a warrant on July 10, when three people were arrested, two on unrelated matters, and a third for possession with intent to supply under the Proceeds of Crime Act, as drugs were allegedly found on him.

The premises closure order will stay in place until November 4.

The property has now been secured and anyone trying to gain access during the closure period will be in breach of the order, and could be fined up to £5,000 and risk up to six months imprisonment.

A review of the restaurant’s licence is expected to take place today at Hackney Town Hall.

Amanda Eva, from the Met’s licensing unit, in a report for the licensing committee, said: “On July 10 a drugs warrant was executed at the location. Found on the premises within cooking pots containing food and bins were approximately 40 individual wraps believed to be crack cocaine and approximately 10 or 11 self-sealed bags of herbal cannabis.”

A letter sent from the council to Casablanca’s licence holders, Eric and Doreen Cameron, who have held a licence for the premises for eight years, read: “The sub-committee has been persuaded by the police’s contention that the suspension of the licence is necessary to prevent the real risk of serious crime and/or disorder being attracted to the premises and to allow time for an unimpeded investigation of the uncontested presence of drugs within the kitchen and basement area.”

The restaurant was also found to have breached its licence by allowing 27 patrons on the premises during the incident, exceeding the limit of 20.

The Gazette attempted to contact the restaurant for a comment but had no response.

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