A FAMILY who applied to take over a newsagents linked to modern slavery have been asked repeatedly about any links to the current owners.

Marissa Patel and her father Yogesh want to take over Portslade News, in Station Road, where illegal workers were found during a raid.

The shop was run by Krunal Chandrakant Patel and Kirma Krunal Patel until they surrendered the licence following the shocking discovery.

It comes after raids by police on both Portslade News, and another shop ran by the pair - Premier Express Saltdean Convenience Store.

Police licensing officer Claire Abdulkader said: "Concerns do remain around the previous licence holder and their link to this address.

“We are looking for assurances that they are no longer associated with this address in any way.”

A new company, LMYP Limited, has applied for a licence to sell alcohol at Portslade News from 6am to 11pm daily.

But Sussex Police raised concerns at a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel on Tuesday.

Neither the perspective owners, nor their agent, had not contacted the force about the application.

The Argus: Three premises owned by the Patels were raided by policeThree premises owned by the Patels were raided by police

Their agent, Surendra Panchal, also represented the previous owners when they were stripped of their licence for the Saltdean store.

He told the hearing that the prospective proprietors are from Croydon and have no link with the previous owners.

Mr Panchal said: "They are here to achieve a family business, promote the business and make sure the family prospers, along with the local community.

“They have already started working very closely with the local community.”

Mr Panchal intended to buy the business if they secured a licence.

The panel retired to make its decision which should be made public in five working days.