COVID-19 in Vancouver: Two party hosts arrested for holding parties at downtown condo

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      After numerous examples of individuals in British Columbia violating health measures, two more party hosts have been arrested for holding social gatherings.

      Today (March 8), the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced that police had previously responded to 10 complaints (dating back to February 3) about noise and parties in a high-rise condo in the 1100 block of Alberni Street (at Burrard Street), and had attempted to reason with the two individuals convince them to stop hosting parties.

      As the two suspects continued to violate provincial health orders, officers obtained a search warrant to force entry into the condo on the morning of March 6.

      Police arrested two alleged party hosts—37-year-old Manjinder Sagoo and 35-year-old Sanad Rayes—and took them into custody. They were released on bail conditions. However, they breached those conditions and were taken back into custody.

      Sagoo is charged with three counts of failing to comply with provincial health orders while Rayes is charged with two counts of not complying with provincial health orders.

      Meanwhile, officers issued $230 violation tickets to each of the six party guests.

      VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison said at a news conference that they believe there were other people who came and went from the party.

      Addison also clarified that the arrests were made in lieu of $2,300 fines to party hosts, and that any fines or punishment will be determined by the courts if there is a conviction.

      Regarding the length of time before the arrests, Addison explained at a news conference that it took some time for officers to build a case, including gathering evidence and making observations, in order to obtain the search warrant.

      Addison called incidents like these “frustrating” and that they are putting people at risk, including their neighbours, their guests, attending officers, and themselves.

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