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Press Release

Queens Storeowner Indicted for Setting Fire to Rival Supermarket in Brooklyn

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Complained That a Competitor’s Low Prices Were Hurting His Business

Earlier today, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned an indictment charging Mamunar Khan with the February 3, 2019 arson of the Premium Supermarket in East New York.  Khan was previously arrested on a complaint on May 6, 2019, and will be arraigned at a later date.  If convicted, Khan faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, and a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and John B. DeVito, Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Daniel A. Nigro, Commissioner, New York City Fire Department (FDNY), announced the charge.

“As alleged in the indictment, Khan set fire to a supermarket while it was open for business, demonstrating total disregard for the safety of employees, customers and the firefighters who responded to the blaze,” stated U.S. Attorney Donoghue.  “Attempting to burn down your competition is an extremely serious and violent crime and we and our law enforcement partners will ensure that such crimes are punished.”

“The alleged violent acts of the defendant against a fellow business owner could have resulted in substantial loss of property and cost the lives of innocent people to include first responders,” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge DeVito.  “The ATF/NYPD/FDNY Strategic Explosive and Arson Response Task Force will continually work to prevent violent acts like this from occurring and to swiftly bring the perpetrators of such acts when they do occur, to justice. I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting the case.”

“Mamunar Khan put personal profit before public safety and put people’s lives at risk,” said NYPD Commissioner O’Neill. “The NYPD and its law enforcement partners will never tolerate the kind of recklessness and brazen criminality that was committed in this case.”

 “The use of fire as a weapon to injure and intimidate is a callous crime, one that senselessly puts the lives of New Yorkers and FDNY members in danger,” stated FDNY Commissioner Nigro.  “Thanks to our Fire Marshals, NYPD Detectives, ATF agents, and the US Custom and Border Patrol agents who brought to justice an alleged arsonist who sought to avoid responsibility for this crime.”

Khan is the co-owner of Deshi Bazaar, located in Ozone Park, Queens.  On February 3, 2019, video footage recovered from the Premium Supermarket, located at 1196 Liberty Avenue in Brooklyn, showed Khan pushing a cart filled with unknown flammable material down an aisle in the store.  Khan, wearing blue latex gloves, used a lighter to ignite the material, and then exited the store.  As the fire spread through the store, a second video camera recorded Khan driving away in a Mercedes-Benz SUV.  The fire caused substantial damage to Premium Supermarket and the structure of the building. 

A witness told law enforcement agents that Khan had previously complained that the low prices at Premium Supermarket hurt business at his own nearby market.   Khan was then interviewed by law enforcement agents.  The following day, he left the country and traveled to Bangladesh.  Khan was arrested three months later upon returning to the United States.

The charge in the indictment is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Andrew D. Grubin is in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendant:

MAMUNAR KHAN (also known as “Mumunar Khan”)
Age:  59
Ozone Park, Queens

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-247 (LDH)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated May 31, 2019