THE owner of a bubble tea business was caught with a fake driving licence on his way to Southampton to replenish stock, having been disqualified from driving.

Efim Pereira-Viriato got behind the wheel of his BMW 5 Series and drove from Bournemouth to Southampton despite having been banned, a court heard.

The Yunique Milk Tea owner had a fake driving licence which he later produced when stopped by an unmarked police car on Millbrook Road West.

He used a false name with officers before providing the fake document.

But when police did further checks, they discovered he had been disqualified until 2025.

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Pereira-Viriato, 27, of Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, was arrested and interviewed and told officers that he had purchased the fake licence so he could continue running his bubble tea business.

He later pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and having a false licence with intent to deceive.

It was the second time in as many months that he had been caught behind the wheel while banned.

Prosecutor Grace McConnell told Southampton Crown Court how he had his licence taken away in 2022 and has three driving offences on his record.

But mitigating, Chris Gager said his client is “relatively young” and “he would be the first to admit that he has been extremely foolish in his actions”.

“Since this offence on the 15th of November 2023, he is now subject to a community order. He is doing very well I think.

“He has sold his motor vehicle. He hasn’t driven since. Some of his employees can now drive.

“That temptation to use the vehicle to replenish stock is not there.”

He added that if he was jailed then his business could fold and his wife, a Chinese national, may return to her home country.

Pereira-Viriato received a nine-month sentence suspended for 18 months with 30 sessions on an accredited programme, 200 hours of unpaid work and five rehabilitation days.

He was banned from driving for a further two years and an order was made for the deprivation of the fake licence.

Judge Nicholas Rowland told him: “This is only a month after the last driving whilst disqualified.

“It is only just in this case that I am able to say there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”

Companies House shows Pereira Viriato has been the director of Yunique Milk Tea Ltd since August 2, 2019.

The shop specialises in a variety of bubble tea options, including milk teas and smoothies.