February 19, 2013 - 12:12 PM
A Kelowna judge sided with the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch against nightclub owner David Habib who violated his licence at the Liquid Zoo by allowing gang-related clothing in his club last year.
The condition was placed on the Liquid Zoo because of a checkered history with organized crime.
However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoff Barrow agreed with Habib that a three-day suspension by the liquor branch was too heavy and asked the government body to review it.
Habib's company, Quail Place Estates sold the club and building in 2004. However, liquor branch inspectors learned that one of the men who bought it was Damiano Dipopolo, a known Hells Angel, and kiboshed the sale.
That put it back in Habib's hands. Liquid Zoo reopened in Jan. 9, 2012 and just three days later, police did a walk through and found a man inside the club with a hat supporting "Kingpin Crew MC" and "113." The Kingpin Crew is another organized crime group and 113 refers to the 11th and third letters of the alphabet spelling "K.C."
Habib had said he didn't know the Kingpin Crew was an organized crime group.
Barrow upheld the decision of the liquor branch adjudicator but said it was unreasonable to impose the maximum penalty. He said the issue will be sent back to the adjudicator for reconsideration.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013