Swedish police report 100-guest party under pandemic law

Swedish police report 100-guest party under pandemic law
Behrooz Hamzehi, the owner of the Amiralen venue, has struggled during the pandemic. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT
Police in Malmö have reported a birthday party for over 100 people for breaking the eight-person restriction imposed under Sweden's pandemic law.
Police were called to Amiralen, a party venue in central Malmö, shortly after 8pm on Friday night after a dispute broke out among guests. Once there, they found tables laid for between 100 and 150 people. 
 
“We received information at 17.21pm that a large number of people had gathered there. But we didn't send any patrols then,” Rickard Lundqvist, a press spokesperson for Malmö police, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “It's the role of the regional authority to carry out inspections.” 
 
When police arrived they found no one hurt or injured. But when the arranger decided to end the party early, they helped him empty the venue. 
 
“It's not as if we were forcing people to leave, we were instead making sure that they went quietly,” Lundqvist said. “Currently, we do not suspect a crime based on our view of the course of events.”  
 
 
The officers did, however, note down details of what they had seen, which they have passed to Skåne's regional government. 
 
“They are the inspecting authority in questions regarding the temporary pandemic law,” Lundqvist said. 
 
Anna Carlsson, who is the national coordinator inspections under the new law, told Swedish Radio that it was unlikely that the organiser would be fined for a first time offence. 
 
“If it happens again, the regional authority can go forward with additional measures, such as that they might have to pay some kind of fine,” she said. 
 
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Behrooz Hamzehi, the owner of the Amiralen venue, told the newspaper that when he had agreed to hire out the venue several months ago, the contract had included a clause specifying that the arranger was responsible for complying with coronavirus regulations. 
 
“They have signed a contract saying they need to take responsibility for their guests and that there shouldn't be more than the number allowed under the law,” he said. 
 
He said he had reminded them of the eight-person limit when handing over the keys. 

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