ONE of Bury's best-known Indian restaurants went under amid claims it was under-reporting sales, it has emerged.

Administrators were called in for award-winning The Jewel in the Crown, in Bolton Street, in September last year.

And when their holding company Jewel of Bury Ltd was liquidated, it was found while there were only some minor business debts, at least £278,143 was owed to HM Revenues and Customs.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service has now put this figure, in relation to director Shabir Ahmed, at closer to £400,000. He was the sole remaining director of the firm, which was first incorporated in May 2010.

The 39-year-old, of Ormrod Street, Bury, has now been disqualified as a company director for six years after an inquiry discovered he mis-represented the true extent of sales at the restaurant from May 2014 onwards.

This would have had a serious impact on the amount of VAT and corporation tax owed by the enterprise, according to the agency.

Unannounced inspections were carried out by the taxman in December 2016 and again in July 2017.

Tax officials estimated that, due to under-declared sales, Jewel of Bury owed £141,843 for a period from July 2014 to October 2017. Further penalties of £74,460 were imposed as the conduct was thought to have been deliberate.

The company was also found to have submitted and paid lower corporation tax returns of £5,489 for these periods. Tax officials calculated the total amount of corporation tax owed, during Mr Ahmed's period of directorship, was £179,359.

The total liability to HM Revenue and Customs, for Mr Ahmed's tenure, is estimated at £395,662. The overall reported deficiency, on liquidation, was £506,843.