TASTE OF MEDITERRANEAN

July 05, 2005 07:00 ET

Restaurant Owner Fights Back After 10 Years Drug Group Harassment

Attention: City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO / ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 5, 2005) - For the last 10-years, Sam Hussein, a St. Lawrence Market area restaurant owner, has been persecuted by a North American drug group wanting to make his life miserable and drive him out of business.

"This group of people has been harassing me since I moved here," says Sam. "They forced me out of business in Los Angeles and are now doing the same thing here in Canada."

The group of people, which Sam calls the Circuit Group, is responsible for most of the drug trafficking business in the North American RAVE scene. Although they have not caused any physical damage to Sam, they have been abusing him mentally and through slander. Through individuals within their network, false rumors have spread throughout the neighborhood about Sam and his restaurant destroying his reputation as a business owner. Eventually their goal is to force him to close his restaurant.

"I am a Canadian Citizen and I am not going anywhere," says Sam. "They (the Circuit Group) believe that if they can stop customers from coming to my restaurant and continue to put pressure on me, I will finally give up, the way I gave up in L.A. The thing they don't realize is that I know their game and won't let it happen again."

The rumors to discredit Sam's reputation have already started spreading throughout the St. Lawrence community in two ways. The first way is through word-of-mouth. The second way is through manipulation.

"Naturally if you come to the restaurant with the purpose of bothering and frustrating me, I may make fun of you or ignore you," says Sam. "This is a normal reaction under the circumstances. The group is trying to set me up, hoping I will be rude or throw you out of the restaurant in front of customers."

This exact situation occurred last year when Sam was forced to throw out six men from the restaurant. All six men were sent, in his opinion, by the Circuit Group and first made their appearance the day he opened. The group would stand outside the restaurant on the sidewalk, sometimes for almost 30 minutes, and would not come in until it got busy. Once it got busy, they would order and then they would continuously ask when the food will be ready, start complaining to the other customers, and create a scene. The next day they would come back and do the whole thing over again.

These same men came in almost every day for six months and Sam lost many customers because of them. "Most of the customers had no idea what was going on or why I was upset with the men's daily complaints," says Sam. "They had no idea they have been taunting me for months and assumed I had bad customer service."

Finally he did what any other business owner would do. He kicked them out.

"Although I am positive these six men were sent by The Circuit Group, they may not be a direct part of the organization as the group would never use anyone that could incriminate them" admits Sam. "The problem is even if I went to the police I have no proof. They did not destroy any property. They did not harm me or my customers. Basically they only tormented me every day, making me look bad."

Sam, unfortunately, is accustomed to this type of harassment. For over 10 years the same group has been following him from city to city.

"I know the lies and rumors are spreading," says Sam. "This is only the beginning. Soon the stories of me being rude and the service being bad will spread in the neighborhood. I was in the same sort of situation in Los Angeles, but this time I'm going to fight back."

In the next few weeks Sam will be talking to the appropriate authorities as well as contacting the mayor's office and local MPPs in hopes of raising awareness.

"This group is experienced in making the innocent look like the bad guy" says Sam. "I'm hoping once the public hears the story, more people in the same situation will come forward and we can put an end to this bullying."

/For further information: sibtainhusseincnd@aol.com/ IN: FOOD, RETAIL, OTHER

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