The owner of a Forest Gate kebab shop spent his Covid-19 business loan to clear his own debts. 

Ilhan Kekec of Abbotts Drive, Waltham Abbey, withdrew the £30,000 in cash after secretively dissolving his business, Hizirali Ltd, just weeks after he received the loan in May 2020. 

The loan was granted as support to run the Derwish Kebab Restaurant in East Shopping Centre, Forest Gate, as part of the government's Bounce Back Loan scheme. 

It was later revealed that Kekec had falsified details of Hizirali's turnover when applying for the loan, claiming it was £125,000. 

He opened he Forest Gate restaurant under Hizirali Ltd after three years of trading through Helosh Ltd as the Derwish Restaurant in St Albans Road, Watford.

But the company only traded for three weeks before it was unable to open due to a Covid-19 lockdown. 

Epping Forest Guardian: The Derwish Kebab Restaurant in Forest Gate is his second venue.The Derwish Kebab Restaurant in Forest Gate is his second venue. (Image: Google Maps)READ MORE: Murder charge made as victim of fatal crash is named

A month after securing the loan, Kekec applied to dissolve the company in June 2020, citing economic struggles as the reason, but failed to inform his creditors.

Julie Barnes, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “Ilhan Kekec saw an opportunity in the early weeks of the pandemic to receive a Covid loan which he never intended to repay. 

“His actions were thoroughly dishonest and at no point did he ever own up to his crimes. 

“He will now have the chance to reflect on his behaviour from behind bars.” 

The 35-year-old was charged with two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of failure of notification of a voluntary strike-off application to creditors, within the seven-day statutory period, under the Companies Act.

He was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on March 18 to two-and-a-half years in prison for the fraud and two years and four months for the offences under the Companies Act. the sentences will run concurrently. 

He was also banned as a company director for three years and is awaiting confiscation procedures.