Luton councillor ‘falsified document to trick trading standards’

Cllr Mohammed Ashraf
Cllr Mohammed Ashraf

A serving Luton councillor falsified a document in a bid to trick a trading standards officer from his own authority, a court has heard.

Mohammed Ashraf, 59, is accused of wrongly claiming that his firm, Luton Travel Services, was covered by Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) and that it was also affiliated with Pakistan International Airlines.

A trial which opened this morning at Luton Magistrates Court heard that during a trading standards investigation in January Cllr Ashraf also supplied an officer from Luton Borough Council with a document which he had doctored in an attempt to make it appear as if his business was ATOL registered.

Cllr Ashraf, of Denbigh Road, Luton, faces six charges over alleged breaches of ATOL and unfair trading regulations.

The 59-year-old has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and claims that at the time of the alleged offences he had already sold the business to another travel agency in Luton.

The trial continues.