Rick's Café operator charged with spirit licence, municipal corporation breachesThursday, June 10, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Detectives assigned to the Westmoreland Police Division have charged one of the operators of Rick's Cafe with breaches of the Spirit Licence Act and the Municipal Corporation Act.
According to a statement from the police, the charges have been laid against Conroy Barrett, who was in charge of the Negril premises during Mocha Fest, which was held on Thursday, May 27.
Investigations into the event and recent charges are still ongoing.
The charges come in the wake of a firestorm of events triggered by social media postings last month end which revealed large crowds of people, not wearing face masks, partying at the famed Mocha Fest party.
The café was ordered closed for seven days on Friday, May 28 after hosting the event which had Jamaicans up in arms and accusing the authorities of double standards in allowing the staging of entertainment events in breach of COVID-19 regulations.
The Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) also withdrew its COVID-19 compliance certification with immediate effect, noting that it would have to undergo a recertification exercise to ensure strict adherence to the established COVID-19 health and safety protocols before it can be allowed to accept visitors again.
Speaking at yesterday's virtual post-Cabinet press briefing from Jamaica House in St Andrew, Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie said while the location is now back in operation “other actions have been taken against the management”. He noted that a report on the incident prepared by the Ministry of Local Government and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management will be presented to Prime Minister Andrew Holness next week.
“I can't speak for my colleague minister in short order, a report of the incident that took place at Rick's Cafe,” McKenzie said.
“I want to make the point that what took place in terms of managing the incident at Rick's Cafe was just one portion of the measures that the Government has when anyone, individuals or establishments, violate the protocols. I would like to also advise the country that other actions have been taken against the management of Rick's Cafe.
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