Nearly 50 top Hong Kong chefs arrested for taking bribes
Nearly 50 chefs from some of Hong Kong's most illustrious bars, clubs and restaurants have been arrested for allegedly taking bribes from suppliers, investigators said Wednesday, dpa reported.
The 46 chefs, some of them working in the city's popular Lan Kwai Fong and Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant and nightclub districts, were arrested as part of a major corruption investigation.
They took bribes of up to 1,300 US dollars a time to order meat and vegetables from certain suppliers, the city's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) alleges.
The arrested chefs include cooks from 25 western, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants, seven bars, four clubs and one hotel, an ICAC spokesman said in a statement. It did not name the venues.
A purchasing manager and employees from frozen meat and vegetable suppliers were also arrested in an operation codenamed Barracuda which began last Wednesday, the spokesman said.
"ICAC enquires revealed that one of the arrested shareholder-cum-directors of the food supplier, with assistance from his four colleagues, had allegedly offered bribes to the chefs as rewards for them to place purchase orders or to expedite payments," he said.
"It is alleged that regular bribes, ranging from several thousand Hong Kong dollars to over 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (1,380 US dollars), were paid to the chefs."
None of the arrested suspects had yet been charged and investigations into the matter were continuing, the ICAC spokesman said.