Northern Ireland news

Stores close for a time as customs arrive at scene

Staff Reporter

THE owner of cafés Synge & Byrne and O’Brien’s sandwich shops has apologised to customers after Revenue & Customs “directed that several outlets were to be temporarily closed”.

A solicitor for BWL Group said the action was taken yesterday “without warning”.

“Our client apologises to customers and staff for this temporary inconvenience and would like to assure them that they shall return to normal working hours ASAP,” Carson McDowell law firm said.

“Our client is cooperating in full with the relevant authorities and is hopeful that they will return to normal business in the coming day or two.

“This investigation relates to accounting technicalities particular to café/outlet industry, and our client is confident that the findings of this investigation will ultimately vindicate them.”

A HMRC spokeswoman said: “We neither confirm nor deny ongoing investigations.”

Synge & Byrne and O’Brien’s operate in Belfast, Derry and Newry, and also in Newtownabbey where shops in the Abbey Centre were closed for a time yesterday.

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Northern Ireland news