Two Melbourne music venues were subject to police raids this month, with drug task force detectives reportedly seizing thousands of ecstasy pills, methamphetamine, and cash. Charges have been made against the owner of one of the venues and other staff.
As The Age reports, The Railway Hotel in Brunswick and Two Floors Up on Lonsdale Street were subject to unrelated raids on 15th April and 7th April respectively, with three men involved in the management and operation of the venues charged on trafficking offences.
Police have charged 47-year-old Chris Lytras, believed to be the owner of The Railway Hotel, and venue manager Paul Polito, 37, with trafficking offences after uncovering a “substantial amount of drugs and cash” during raids on the venue and three other properties in Brunswick and Elwood.
Fairfax claims Mr Lytras, who was previously banned from holding a liquor license after a number of protocol breaches, concealed his involvement in the popular Melbourne nightspot by registering a friend as the licensee of the venue.
Meanwhile, in a separate raid conducted on the premises of Two Floors Up a week prior, police found “what is believed to be several thousand ecstasy pills as well as quantities of other drugs believed to be methamphetamine”.
35-year-old DJ Jason Peter Kolbeck, believed to have a stake in the dance venue, was charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of drugs. However, despite the raids, both clubs have been permitted to continue trading.
Image via Two Floors Up Facebook
In fact, Two Floors Up used an image of Mr Kolbeck to promote a 17th April event titled ‘Jail House Rock‘, in which the DJ’s face was Photoshopped over that of Elvis Presley’s in a still from the iconic film of the same name.
The venue is currently promoting an ANZAC Day long weekend event under the name ‘ANZAC Bikkies‘. However, Mr Kolbeck is not billed as appearing at either event. He is due to appear before the Magistrates Court on 25th July.
It’s important to note that despite the charges laid against stakeholders in both venues, neither Fairfax Media nor Tone Deaf are suggesting the owners of the premises occupied by either venue are involved in any illegal activity.Write a Letter to the Editor