Luton councillor in court over alleged travel agency fraud

Cllr Mohammed Ashraf
Cllr Mohammed Ashraf

A serving Luton councillor is due to reappear in court charged over an alleged fraud.

Mohammed Ashraf, 59, from Denbigh Road, is accused of lying that his business, Luton Travel Services, had Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) protection.

Cllr Ashraf represents the Dallow ward

Cllr Ashraf represents the Dallow ward

Cllr Ashraf is also alleged to have lied about being affiliated with Pakistan International Airlines and claiming that his firm did not offer trips to Mecca, which it did.

He is also accused of supplying Luton Borough Council with false documents.

The charges have been brought against the 59-year-old under statute which protects consumers against unfair trading.

Cllr Ashraf, who has represented the Dallow ward since 1987, was previously LBC’s portfolio holder for trading standards.

He appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court for trial on Tuesday, but the case has been postponed until next Thursday (February 4).

Cllr Ashraf was suspended from the Labour Party over the incident last year, but at the time Labour refused to give reasoning behind the move.

An east of England Labour spokesman confirmed to the Herald & Post that Cllr Ashraf remains barred from the party.

The 59-year-old previously served on Luton Borough Council’s executive, as the portfolio holder for finance.

Following the local election in May 2015 Cllr Ashraf was kept on in that brief, but was removed from the post soon after.