COVID-19: Illegal nightclub operator busted in Surrey, with 21 attendees fined almost $6,000 in total

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      Last week, Vancouver police announced on January 31 that officers arrested a man for allegedly hosting nightclub-style parties in a Downtown Vancouver penthouse, with 77 guests receiving fines as well.

      This week, Surrey RCMP have cracked down on an individual holding illegal afterhour parties, in violation of provincial health orders against gatherings and events.

      Surrey RCMP stated in a news release today (February 9) that officers used a search warrant around 1 a.m. on February 7 at a location in the 10600 block of King George Boulevard in Whalley.

      An underground nightclub had been operating at the location, and has been the focus of previous police investigations for defying public health orders.

      Surrey RCMP stated that individuals associated with the club had been issued COVID-19-related fines on three previous occasions.

      When police arrived at the club this past weekend, 21 individuals were present—officers issued 26 violation tickets of $230 each for attending a non-compliant event, failing to wear face coverings, and belligerent behavior.

      The fines amounted to a total of almost $6,000.

      Surrey RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Joanie Sidhu told the Georgia Straight that music being played was so loud that officers arriving at the location could hear it from outside and that there was also liquor being served.

      Cpl. Sidhu explained that as the host had previously been issued fines, instead of a $2,300 fine this time, he was given a notice to appear in court for hosting a non-compliant event contrary to the Emergency Program Act.

      It turned out to be a busy weekend for Surrey RCMP for COVID-19-related violations, as there were three other incidents that resulted in fines being issued.

      On February 6, officers issued a $1,150 fine to a man who did not comply with the conditions of his entry into Canada under the Quarantine Act.

      On the same day, police responded to a report of a public health order violation at a restaurant in the 7000 block of 138th Street in Surrey.

      Officers arrived to find a wedding held in a private room at the restaurant, with at least 20 people in attendance. Police issued a $2,300 fine to the restaurant owner for hosting an event against health orders.

      Then on February 7, Surrey RCMP responded to a report about a gathering at a residence in the 14800 block of 61st Avenue where officers issued a $2,300 fine to an individual for hosting the event. Cpl. Sidhu said that there were eight people in attendance who were not residents at the household. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.