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Vancouver party hosts arrested, charged for COVID-19 violations

Six guests were given $230 tickets.
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Vancouver Police arrested two men for COVID-19 restriction violations in conjunction with multiple gatherings at their downtown condo. File photo by Brendan Kergin

Two men have been arrested and charged following multiple parties at their downtown condo.

Manjinder Sagoo, 37, faces three counts and Sanad Rayes, 35, faces two following their arrests Saturday morning (March 6). All five charges are for failing to comply with the health officer, according to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

“After repeated complaints from the public and unsuccessful efforts to convince these hosts to stop having parties, our officers obtained a search warrant and forced entry into the condo Saturday to arrest two men,” says Sgt. Steve Addison in the release. "The alleged hosts were taken to jail, and six guests were issued $230 tickets for being at the gathering.”

There had been 10 previous complaints about parties at the condo near Burrard and Alberni streets during the pandemic.

Addison notes Vancouver police will make efforts to explain the issues to people and get them to follow the health order before using punitive measures.

"But, when someone flagrantly ignores the law and puts others at risk of contracting COVID, we will use our legal powers to hold them accountable," he adds.

The pair were charged under the Emergency Program Act, which bans social gatherings such as parties with more than a couple of people from outside the residence during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.