A crack police gang unit went undercover in a popular Greenwich Mexican restaurant - which could now lose its licence over allegations of drug dealing punters and violent teenage birthday parties.

The startling revelations have been made in a report on Church Street eateries Desperados and the High Chaparral - essentially run as the same venue and the focus of a string of complaints.

A police report has revealed how High Chaparral was recently part of a police investigation dubbed Operation Agamotto run by the borough's Violent and Organised Crime Unit, targeting known gang members in the town centre. 

Whilst in the restaurant last year, police were sold cocaine by one of the customers, it is claimed.

Licensing officer PC Jason Coombes wrote in his report: "These individuals were known to be frequenting High Chaparral restaurant and were permitted to operate within the venue unchallenged. During the operation, officers were witness to several crimes including assault and drug offences. These were all either in or in the close vicinity of the venue."

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Greenwich police are now calling for the restaurants to have their licences revoked. 

However, Cuneyt Ozborme - one of the two brothers who run the restaurants - told News Shopper he had hired a solicitor to resolve the problem ahead of this month's licensing review and both places would close in June anyway, to be replaced by a branch of American diner chain Buffalo.

Mr Ozborme said: "We're going to change a couple of things and it's all sorted out now."

He said: "The way it's running has changed. It used to be run like a bar but it's now a proper restaurant. We're going to close in June."

And he said of the police allegations: "Say you come to my restaurant and you sell drugs to somebody. How am I supposed to know? If that was a problem they should have arrested me.

"What do you expect? If you're a drug dealer and you come to my restaurant, you're spending money, what am I supposed to do?"

The licensing report also details a range of allegations against both restaurants going back to November 2011 when there was a large fight involving customers and staff.


According to the report, CCTV evidence also showed "one of the owners being aggressive in his manner and having in his possession what appears to be some type of taser or stun gun."

On another evening there were reports that boozed-up teens celebrating a 17th birthday attacked men with their shoes after an incident with a spilt drink, fracturing one victim's cheek.

And violence last May saw a man attacked outside with what appeared to be a champagne bottle. His attacker was allowed to go back in, but the victim was refused entry and simply handed some paper napkins for his injuries, the reports states.

The venues were also prosecuted by Greenwich Council in 2013 after an undercover operation by council officers found drink was acting as a bar by selling booze to people who were not buying food. The brothers were fined £12,708.

PC Coombes wrote: "The incidents that have been highlighted in the review document clearly emphasise that, although they are not numerous, many are either drug related or assaults to the person. Police have also brought to notice a number of other incident that are serious in nature or involve under-age drinkers.

The licensing review, which is supported by the ward's Councillor Maureen O'Mara and Councillor Aidan Smith, takes place on March 16.