The former licensee of Kings Cross nightclub Dreamgirls, David Wilhelm Lakepa, has been convicted of operating a clandestine unlicensed bar. Lakepa received a $7,000 fine and was ordered to pay $1,500 in legal costs.

Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) prosecuted Lakepa on two charges after a joint raid with police on 19 December 2015 uncovered an illegal upstairs bar operating at the Darlinghurst Road nightclub.

During the raid L&GNSW inspectors found the makeshift bar, which had been operating without a licence on Level 1 of the club, as well as numerous bottles of spirits, glasses, a bar fridge containing beer, and served spirits on a table.

Three customers confirmed alcohol had been served on Level 1 by a waitress and purchased using cash and EFTPOS. The waitress confirmed alcoholic drinks had been sold, as did other employees.

Also located was a portable EFTPOS machine used for upstairs liquor sales and an intercom device used to arrange sales, private shows and security via the licensed basement area of the nightclub.

Lakepa, who was in the basement level of Dreamgirls at the time of the raid, initially denied any knowledge of illegal alcohol sales upstairs but later confirmed sales had been occurring there for several months and that he had instructed employees to make the sales.

Lakepa pleaded guilty to two offences under the Liquor Act – assisting in conducting the business of an unlicensed premises and, as a licensee, allowing others to sell alcohol at an unauthorised premises.

Following the raid Dreamgirls was served with a long term closure order and has since surrendered its liquor licence.

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