Richmond RCMP announced Tuesday the bust of another illegal “booze can” operating in the city.
The bust took place in a nondescript industrial park near No. 5 and Bridgeport roads.
Inside the two-storey, 2,000-square-foot unit in the 11700-block of Voyageur Way, police discovered alcohol being openly served in a clubhouse similar to a karaoke lounge, with machines and professional-grade lighting. One room had a poker table set up. A bizarre, illuminated star with a dollar sign in the middle of one wall acted as a centrepiece for the lounge.
Another illuminated wall sign labelled the booze can as the “Club House” and Chinese karaoke appeared to be playing at the time of the bust. The drinks of choice were Grey Goose vodka, Hennesy cognac and cans of Bud.
Police alluded to potentially nefarious activity at the booze can.
“Of interest, the monitoring area had cameras trained on the front entrance area,” noted a statement from Richmond RCMP.
Booze cans are described as illegal nightclubs and/or liquor establishments, often featuring some gambling tables, operating outside of regulations and considered by police as an attractive place for organized crime to take place.
Police reported busting a booze can near River Rock Casino and Resort last month.
“This (latest) booze can was far more elaborate than the first one we discovered around a month ago,” said Cpl. Dennis Hwang.
“We are concerned for a number of reasons with public safety being at the forefront. Safety risks including attracting the criminal element, gambling, potential fire hazards/overcrowding, unlicensed liquor service, and the potential road safety concerns with possible impaired drivers leaving the unit. We are working closely with our partners from with the City of Richmond and their Bylaws Unit,” he added.
No charges were announced.
Hwang stated the department’s Anti-Gang officers conducted 19 business checks last weekend, including bars, restaurants, and karaoke establishments.
“We are actively focused on continuing these checks and making our community safer,” said Hwang.
The police have proactively made the two booze can busts public via news releases in the wake of widespread money laundering allegations tied to organized crime coming to light in Richmond.
Earlier this year a mansion in Richmond’s farmland area became the subject of a civil forfeiture proceeding, after police, according to reported court documents, discovered a relatively large illegal casino operating within it, in addition to other alleged criminal activity.
And in June, a Richmond residence was one of six properties raided across the Lower Mainland by a special police unit as part of a massive probe into illegal gaming houses.