Restaurant Owner Accused of Actual Human Slavery [Update]

In Depth

We’ve heard about a lot of terrible restaurant owners on this website, but they pale in comparison to the restaurant owner in Valencia, California who was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, assault with a deadly weapon, and holding a person in involuntary servitude.

Via the LA Times, Pardeep Kumar (pictured above, and doesn’t he just look like a charmer) was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly holding against his will an unidentified man who came to work as a chef in Kumar’s Tandoori Grill from India three years ago. According to police, Kumar confiscated the man’s passport when he arrived here, then beat him with a 2-foot-long piece of steel and a 3-foot-long metal mop handle, because sure, this story wasn’t awful enough as it was. The unnamed chef also had to work 12-14 hour days seven days a week, was barred from contact with the outside world while forced to live in Kumar’s home, and was (understandably) terrified for his life if he tried to escape. He apparently also has long-term injuries from broken bones that never healed properly.

Authorities, however, have declined to file charges, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. This is surprising, considering the amount of eye-witness testimony they appeared to have on hand. The police have failed to comment further, despite the fact that there are a ton of unanswered questions here.

Apparently, authorities only discovered what was going on after one of the chef’s coworkers told his brother back in Mumbai that some kind of horrific abuse was going on. The brother sent an email to the county sheriff’s department, and to their credit, they were on it immediately, arresting Kumar later that day. The chef now plans to return to India, and who could blame him?

No jokes here. This is just unbelievably messed up.

Image via screengrab from News5.

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