Vancouver police say they issued more than $17,000 in fines and arrested a 42-year-old man after yet another visit to what they’ve called a makeshift nightclub in the city’s downtown.
In a news release issued Sunday (Jan. 31), police said they launched an investigation a week ago after a witness called to report a large party at a penthouse near Richards Street and Georgia Streets.
Last week, police handed out multiple fines to a man working as a doorman in front of the unit but the owner was allegedly defiant and refused to open the door.
With a search warrant in hand, police said they returned early Sunday morning after hearing of two large parties over the weekend. Police allege that the 1,100-square-foot penthouse was “packed with people” and appeared to be running as a night club and show lounge.
Police issue each of the 77 attendees a $230 ticket for attending a gathering that goes against COVID restrictions.
The party host was arrested under the Public Health Act and taken into custody.
“Our officers found 78 people inside the three-level apartment, and none of them were wearing masks,” said Sgt. Steve Addison. “There were menus, tables, point-of-sale terminals, and cash tills.”
However, last week the owner of the penthouse denied claims he was hosting parties.
“I was not hosting a party,” Mohammad Movassaghi told Black Press Media on Thursday. He has also filed a complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner following the last time police attempted to enter his unit.
Gatherings of any size are currently banned in B.C. as the province continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
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