A detective and lieutenant assigned to the New York City Police Department’s 109 Precinct in Flushing, Queens have been charged with accepting bribes from karaoke club owners in return for notifying them when narcotics or vice units planned to schedule raids on their establishments.
Yatyu Yam, 35, who is a detective assigned to the 109 Precinct’s Detective Squad and had been a police officer since January 2005, and Robert Sung, 50, who is a lieutenant also assigned to the 109 Precinct’s Detective Squad, have both been suspended by the NYPD, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Yam was arraigned this week on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree bribe receiving, second-degree receiving reward for official misconduct, and official misconduct. Yam was ordered held on $25,000 bail, to surrender his passport and firearms, and to return to court on Dec. 22. Sung was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita on a criminal complaint charging him with third-degree bribe receiving, second-degree receiving reward for official misconduct, official misconduct, and second-degree obstructing governmental administration. Sung was ordered held on $20,000 bond/$10,000 cash bail and also ordered to return to court on Dec. 22. Sung’s firearms were previously seized, and he was directed not to apply for a passport during the duration of the case.
District Attorney Brown said that the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which is charged with investigating alleged corruption and serious misconduct by members of the NYPD, commenced the investigation two years ago together with the District Attorney’s Integrity Bureau into the relationships of police officers assigned to the 109 Precinct and owners of karaoke clubs operating within the confines of the 109 Precinct. According to the charges, Detective Yam and Lieutenant Sung accepted cash and other forms of payment to notify owners of clubs such as Club JJNY, allegedly a known location for drug activity including ketamine and marijuana, and Club Joyful, another karaoke club, when either the narcotics or vice unit was going to conduct an inspection or raid on their establishments.
Each officer faces up to fifteen years in prison if convicted of the criminal charges.