Our Danish correspondent TB has translated the following article from the Norwegian news site VG Nett:
Shock findings at food businesses — seventeen closed
- Headquarters for drugs and smugglers
- Food stored with broken glass
- Rats observed in food storage
A raid on restaurants in Oslo revealed meat lying in the kitchen sink and food stored in a room which was in contact with an open sewer.
Within just a few districts in Akerselva, seventeen out of twenty-one inspected clubs and restaurants were closed.
A majority of the places are unregistered and closed immigrant clubs. According to the police some of them serve only smuggled goods.
“Especially among the clubs there are many which are run completely on the wrong side of the law. They serve food and alcohol and are open to anybody,” Police Inspector Bjørn Vandvik from the Section for Immigration and Management in Oslo says.
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Mattilsynet (Food Safety) is of the opinion that people are putting themselves into danger by eating there.
“Those 17 businesses were closed on the grounds of immediate and serious danger to people’s health,” Inger-Marie Øymo from Mattilsynet says.
“It is very bad that we see so many violations of the law in such a small area,” she specifies.
Police think that some of the clubs function as purely criminal distribution centers, both because they are used as hangouts for illegal immigrants and because they have observed open trading in narcotics.
“We have observed persons in these places who openly supplied the distributors along Akerselva with drugs,” Police Inspector Vandvik says.
Half a kilogram of hashish
In one place a newly arrived Algerian was caught with half a kilogram of hashish in small bags, worth approximately 20,000 kroner.
Here are some of the police findings in the coordinated action between Mattilsynet [Food Safety], Tollvesenet [Custom], Oslo Brannvesen [the fire department], and the police during the last few months:
In five places the police confiscated different types of narcotics such as hashish, amphetamine, heroin, and pills.
Ten of those who were caught were illegal immigrants or had had their asylum applications rejected.
In twelve of the clubs smuggled goods were found. The largest of the confiscations consisted of 47,000 cigarettes and 800 kg of meat, which indicates a comprehensive illegal turnover.
Seventeen places were closed because of bad hygiene. Some of them have reopened.
Five of the places have had their contracts with their landlord immediately dismissed.
Six of the places received a note from the Fire Department recommending a shutdown. In one place the fire alarm was disconnected because of smoking, while another stored their gas in an unacceptable manner.
In three of the clubs hygiene standards were so grave that Mattilsynet felt obliged to put them into a three-month business quarantine.
“Conditions at three of the clubs had been bad in earlier control visits. And since they seriously and repeatedly broke our rules, we chose the quarantine,” Øymo says.
The three clubs are Metin Senter, Azadi youth club, and Malbandi Chwar Chira, which are all Kurdish clubs. In the police report the detailed and shocking information about the conditions was revealed.
“Food was stored in cellars with exposure to the open sewer and rodents. Generel standards of hygiene are very poor. Earlier controls have showed the same,” according to the report about the youth club Metin Senter.
According to the police report, in the Kurdish club Malbandi Chwar Chira there rats were observed in the food storage and “broken glass was found in a place where it could easily have been mixed with the meat.” Furthermore the meat that was found was “unmarked and partly rotten”.
The manager of Metin Senter, Nizar Namo Kojar, says that he does not know anything about the conditions that the police uncovered.
“What the police say is just crap. We have meat from Gilde. The cigarettes belong to some of the employees. That somebody in the club possesses narcotics we cannot take responsibility for.”
About the description of the condition in the cellar made by the police Nizar Namo Kojar says the following:
“We have no storage in the cellar.”
Those responsible for the club say that they will open again when the three-month quarantine is over.
The assistant manager at Malbandi Chwar Chira, Kardo Mahmod Kojar, also does not recognize what the police describe.
“The meat is from Rema 1000. I have the receipts,” he says.
Kojar thinks it is a mistake that rats have been observed near the food and reacts to the fact that the club have been quarantined.
“There are rats all over Norway, but we do not use the cellar. Everything is good now. Mattilsynet can just come and see,” Kojar says. He wants to reopen the club as fast as possible.
In the Azadi youth club, which is also Kurdish, huge amounts of smuggled goods were discovered, including 5,000 cigarettes and unmarked meat.
The man who is apparently in charge rejects this and refers to a man presently located in Northern Iraq.
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.