The co-founder of a major Sydney restaurant chain has been charged over an alleged COVID breach in the city’s south west.
Rami Ykmour was arrested on Thursday afternoon after police received a tip-off that a number of staff at the Chester Hill head office were not wearing masks.
Upon arrival, an officer found two staff members without masks on.
As seen in the video above, several officers were seen speaking to Ykmour, who was seen wearing a mask, inside the building.
The co-founder claimed his staff were eating and put their masks on when they had finished.
Police allege the 46-year-old became aggressive towards an officer and refused to provide his details.
He was subsequently arrested, with at least eight officers seen escorting him into a police van.
Before being taken to the police station, Ykmour was seen becoming emotional.
“Who’s gonna pay us for all this labour?” he was heard saying.
“Who’s gonna pay us for all these losses?
“Go and try and keep this business alive, mate.”
Ykmour was also heard pleading with officers that all his restaurants were closed and he was struggling to pay all his staff.
He was later issued a Field Court Attendance Notice for hindering police and is due to appear before Parramatta Local Court in August.
Two staff members were fined $200 each for failing to wear a mask.
Rashays has more than 30 restaurants along Australia’s east coast.
From 7am on Friday, an extra 100 police officers will be deployed to areas of south-west Sydney in a high-visibility compliance operation.
It comes after the local government areas of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown were identified as areas of concern following an increase in COVID cases.
Of the 38 new COVID cases recorded in Sydney on Thursday, 21 were in the city’s south west.