United Kingdom

Event planner caught setting up second illegal rave in eight days at same venue is fined £10,000

An event planner who was busted setting up an illegal rave only eight days after hosting a party for up to 200 people at the same venue has been slapped with a £10,000 fine for breaching coronavirus regulations.

Abhishek Beltharia, 37, was caught organising a second 'unlicensed music event' at a warehouse on September 8 after authorities discovered a alcohol, DJ equipment and lighting.

Just over a week earlier hundreds of people had gathered at the warehouse on Argyll Avenue in east London for another illegal rave on Bank Holiday Monday August 31.

In what officials have described as a 'stellar operation', Police and council licensing officers carried out a follow-up visit to the Forest Business Park warehouse in Leyton.

Abhishek Beltharia, 37, was caught organising a second 'unlicensed music event' at a warehouse on September 8 after authorities discovered stacks of alcohol at the location

DJ equipment and lighting were also discovered at the unit when Police and council licensing officers carried out a follow-up visit to the Forest Business Park warehouse in Leyton

Their visit came after between 150 and 200 people had gathered in breach of health protection rules on the Bank Holiday. 

They found a well stocked bar - complete with a price list for beers, cider, whisky, vodka, gin, rum and brandy - as well as musical equipment. 

The bar menu for the event shows attendees would have been charged £5.50 for a glass of fizz, £4.50 for beer, £5 for a single mixed spirits drink and £7.50 for a double.

The menu also said drinkers could pay by card for the beverages.  

Booze and other evidence were seized. Licensing officers are also considering enforcement action under the Licensing Act for selling alcohol and providing entertainment without a licence.

The London Fire Brigade are also serving notices regarding alleged deficiencies with fire safety measures.

Now police officers have served Beltharia, of Thornton Heath, south London, with a £10,000 fixed penalty notice.

They found a well stocked bar - complete with a price list for beers, cider, whisky, vodka, gin, rum and brandy - as well as musical equipment. The bar menu for the event shows attendees would have been charged £5.50 for a glass of prosecco and £4.50 for beer

Detective Chief Constable John Arnold, of Waltham Forest Police, said: 'The pandemic continues to test public resolve and police resourcing.

'Enforcement tactics will be proportionate to tackle non-compliance in order to keep the public safe.'

Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: 'This is a stellar example of joint partnership work between enforcement and Police officers to stop a mass illegal gathering.'

He added: 'I want to thank residents and businesses who are working so hard to follow regulations, but I want to underline - as this fixed penalty notice shows - that there will be serious consequences for anyone who flouts the rule in the face of this global pandemic and endangers public health.' 

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