Patron reports that police executing human-trafficking warrant at nightclub behaved in unprofessional fashion

A patron who witnessed police officers executing a search warrant at a popular upscale night club in Jolly Harbour, this past Sunday night, May 28, is expressing shock and disappointment at the manner in which the situation unfolded.

REAL News was told that a contingent of police barged into the club and demanded that everyone, including other officers on duty as club security, move to either side of the club, with men on the left and women on the right.

At that point, reportedly, patrons were unaware of what was taking place, since the officers had not identified themselves or informed persons about what was going on.

Further reports say that an off-duty officer – part of the club’s security personnel – was heard saying, “Me nar move, cause ah nah so you do t’ings.”

Apparently not aware that the man, too, was an officer, one of the on-duty policemen grabbed the off-duty officer by his collar.  In response, the former received a punch in the neck that caused him to release his hold on the latter’s shirt.

From reports given by the source, a senior officer intervened and the off-duty officer was taken outside and sent home.

Meanwhile, it is alleged that, as the search continued, the club’s owner was taken to a private area and shown the warrant,  which indicated the officers were investigating human trafficking.

The passports of the club’s workers were also checked and reportedly found to be in order.

According to the source, the patrons, too, were subjected to the search.  It is further alleged that officers were pushing their hands into people’s pockets and removing their money – to which the patrons objected. However, they were reportedly made to sign a book, indicating the amount of cash taken from them.

One well-known businesswoman was found to have $3,000 in her purse, and the source says that officers were curious about her reason for carrying such a large sum of cash.  

She explained that she was at the club for a birthday celebration with friends; and, as a businesswoman, the law allows her to legally carry any amount below $10,000 on her person.

Reportedly, patrons were told that their vehicles would be searched, as well.

A well-known media personality is said to have inquired whether the officers had a warrant to search the vehicles – and was told they did not.  Accordingly, he allegedly told the lawmen they would be breaking the law if they proceeded along this line.

Reportedly, at this juncture, another media personality present informed the officers that he was recording the incident, because things were not being done right.

It is alleged that, upon hearing this, the lawmen began to follow procedures and adopted a softer tone, approaching and informing patrons that they were executing a human-trafficking search warrant.

In that case, the media personality reportedly told the officers, only the owners and the staff should be checked – and not the patrons, who were just there to enjoy themselves.

The source claims the officers were asked whether anyone was being detained and they said no; however, they reportedly said the women could leave, but the men should stay.  But since most of the women had gone there with male company, they were reportedly advised to wait by the vehicles.

The club-owner has confirmed that the following morning, May 29, everyone went to the station and signed to receive the cash that had been taken from them.