(File photo: Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

Surrey RCMP say a 40-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly uttering threats and a break-and-enter in connection to an investigation into “illegal after-hours clubs” operating in Whalley.

Surrey RCMP and the COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team began investigating in August after receiving information “about a number of after-hours clubs and parties springing up at commercial properties in Whalley,” according to a release from Surrey RCMP Friday (Aug. 7).

READ ALSO: Surrey sets up joint COVID-19 team for enforcement, complaints, March 27, 2020

Police said that during the investigation, officers were able to identify the suspect who was “allegedly using a leased commercial space to host unlicensed events,” adding that investigators believe he may have hosted gatherings at commercial properties he allegedly accessed through break-and-enter.

In the release, Surrey RCMP also included a poster advertising an event at 10609 King George Blvd. for Friday (Aug. 7). The poster says the “First Fridays Party” would include several DJs and an open bar before midnight.

The party has since been cancelled, police added.

The address for the party is the same as a hookah lounge that Fraser Health issues a warning for a COVID-19 public exposure.

READ ALSO: Fraser Health warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Surrey hookah lounge, Aug. 6, 2020

Listed on the health authority’s public exposures page, it says people who were at a hookah lounge, located at 10609 King George Blvd., just before midnight on July 31 until 4 a.m. on Aug. 1 and just before midnight on Aug. 1 until 5 a.m. on Aug. 2 should self-monitor.

Surrey RCMP said that investigators believe the hookah lounge “was being operated by the same individual.”

The man was released from police custody, “with a number of conditions,” according to RCMP.

“We want to strongly caution the public, particularly young people, to avoid these types of illegal parties, especially during a pandemic,” said Corporal Bob Keay, of the COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team.

“These types of events are often not compliant with local bylaws, fire codes, and public health orders that have been put in place for your safety. In this investigation we have already had a link to possible exposures to COVID-19.”

Anyone with information regarding illegal after-hours parties asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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