In a bid to get customers addicted to his food, a scheming restaurant owner in China resorted to unethical means – he laced his noodles with parts of a poppy plant from which opium is made. When questioned by the local police, he admitted to spending 600 yuan (about $100) on two kilograms of poppy shells to secretly add to the food.
The diabolical deception came to light when Liu Juyou, a 26-year-old customer, tested positive for opiates during a routine urine test at an anti-drunk-driving program. Liu was stupefied by the result and swore that he never touched any illegal substances. But the police didn’t pay attention to his pleas and detained him for 15 days.
The utterly bewildered Liu slowly gathered his wits and started to think about what went wrong. As he searched his mind for possibilities, he wondered if the restaurant he frequented could be responsible. So he dispatched his family members to test the theory by eating noodles at the same place and testing their urine later.
Needless to say, they tested positive as well, and immediately informed the police of their discovery. An investigation was launched – the restaurant owner was apprehended and detained for 10 days, during which he confessed to the crime. An anti-narcotics police agent later admitted that chemicals from poppy could build up in the body, causing a positive test result. If ingested for a long time, he said it could certainly have an addictive effect.
Sadly, despite the restaurant owner’s confession, Liu was not let off the hook. His appeal against his detention was dismissed by the police who said their priority was to detect drugs and punish drug users. In China, the consumption of opium, along with heroin, morphine and marijuana, is a punishable offence.
While the law makes sense, I do believe they might be punishing the wrong guy here. What do you think?