View Full Version : City says these (foreign) owners are as ‘dirty as their restaurants’ - bribed inspectors

The Bobster
12-21-2016, 08:30 AM

City says these owners are as ‘dirty as their restaurants’
By Linda Massarella
December 20, 2016 | 11:06pm | Updated

Amazura night club
Wayne Carrington

Three city eatery owners were as “dirty as their restaurants,’’ offering wads of cash to try to bribe health inspectors into giving them “A’’ letter grades, authorities said Tuesday.

In one case, a city Department of Health inspector told a joint in Queens that the live lizard it kept in its fish tank had to go.

“Before leaving the establishment, a worker told the inspector that the inspector had forgotten something in the bathroom. When the inspector went to the bathroom, he saw a wad of cash on top of the sink,” according to the city Department of Investigation.

DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said the rogue eateries in The Bronx and Queens were caught in a sting by undercover agents after real Health Department inspectors reported that they were being offered bribes at the establishments in exchange for better regulatory ratings.

“DOI’s investigation found that these defendants were as dirty as their restaurants, offering bribes to health inspectors to look the other way at their eateries’ unsanitary conditions,’’ Peters said in a statement.

“However, in New York City, you can’t clean up a dirty restaurant with a bribe.”

Morie Kabba, 42, of The Bronx was arrested Monday, while Jonathan Niranjan, 28, and Mohammad Safi, 62, who run establishments in Queens, were busted Tuesday, all on bribery charges, officials said.

In each instance, the men first tried to bribe inspectors with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who refused the graft and reported it to higher ups, authorities said.

Undercovers were then sent in and allegedly offered bribes, too.

At Kabba’s Jagana Family Kennedy Fried Chicken at 1375 Boston Road, undercover inspectors saw uncovered garbage cans, flies buzzing around and food on the floor in October.

Kabba offered the investigator $160 to ignore it, officials said.

At the Amazura night club at 91-12 144th Place in Jamaica, Queens, a real health inspector told Niranjan he had to remove the lizard from an aquarium. Niranjan then allegedly directed him to the cash in the bathroom.

Later, an undercover allegedly found a broken sink, flies in the kitchen and staff handling food with their bare hands. Niranjan palmed the agent $300 in cash, according to the complaint.

At the Farm Fried N Curry Chicken at 120-20 Merrick Blvd. in South Jamaica, Queens, undercover agents also saw staff handling food without gloves and garbage cans without lids. They also found a broken faucet.

When the undercover inspector pointed out the violations to Safi, he left and allegedly returned with an envelope containing $200.

While handing it over, Safi asked the agent to give him a card with an “A” rating, authorities said.