AN illegal wedding with more than 40 guests was broken up by police at an award-winning Indian restaurant.

Police were called to Hot Chilli on Dunscar Business Park amid reports of a large gathering last Sunday afternoon.

The function, off Blackburn Road, was quickly dispersed and 37 fixed penalty notices were issued to guests.

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Eyewitness Peter Dean, 47, from Egerton, said: “There were three big police vans outside Hot Chilli on Sunday afternoon. I have a unit on that industrial estate and the car park was very busy.

“There were people dressed up in wedding clothes, and bridesmaids with flowers standing on the streets outside the restaurant.”

The eaterie was named National Champion of Champions at the Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards. in 2019.

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A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “At around 2.35pm on Sunday, February 21, police were called to a report of large gathering at a premises on Blackburn Road, Bolton.

“Officers arrived and dispersed a group of around 40-50 people who were attending an organised wedding function. The wedding function was dispersed, and 37 fixed penalty notices have been issued. Enquiries are ongoing to locate the organiser, and further enforcement action is likely to follow.”

A Hot Chilli spokesman confirmed there was a private function there on Sunday - but said it was only supposed to be for six people from the same household.

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He added: “The organisers informed us on the day of the event it was in fact, a wedding but claimed to have exceptional circumstances which they did not discuss in detail.

“We had already paid for extra supplies and requested extra workers to be in attendance. In consideration of these business expenses, we regretfully agreed to serve their small gathering.”

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Venue bosses say they alerted police as the size of the gathering grew.

The spokesman added: “We are fully co-operating with law enforcement and Bolton Council to assist with any enquiries. We have no intention of allowing people to gather in our premises during lockdown under any circumstances in future.

“The restaurant is limited to takeaway and delivery under national lockdown guidelines and will remain so until we receive further updates.”

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