The owner of a North Shore gym raided by Mounties earlier this month said the facility is not closed and, in fact, was never closed -- save for the brief period of time heavily armoured police officers rushed inside.
Konaam Shirzad owns Heavy Metal Gym at 145 Briar Ave.
On Jan. 13, police officers using military-like vehicles and dressed in paramilitary outfits raided the gym, searching the premises in connection to what Mounties said was an earlier traffic stop and search of a home in Sahali.
Following the raid on the gym, police held a press conference, at which they said one person was arrested for possessing and trafficking of illegal drugs during a traffic stop earlier that day.
In the two weeks since the raid, police have not announced charges, nor have they divulged what, if anything, of interest was found in the gym.
Shirzad told KTW police did not find anything illegal in his gym because he is no longer part of the lifestyle that landed him behind bars last decade.
"My past got brought up, but I've been doing a lot of good lately," Shirzad said. "The gym has been open the whole time. It was never closed. It is not closed. People should feel free to come here."
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Shirzad said business is good and expects it to stay that way.
When asked if anybody should be concerned about attending a gym that was the focus of a major police raid, Shirzad said: "The only thing to fear is the police and their over-reaction."
As to the reported traffic stop, drug seizure and search of a Sahali home police say precipitated the assault on his gym, Shirzad replied: "I don't know anything about any of that."
According to numerous news stories on past court proceedings, Shirzad was a co-founder of the notorious Red Scorpions gang, which was created in the early 2000s with Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le and Matthew Johnston.
Shirzad is in his early 30s and has spent time in prison. His record includes attempting to murder a friend after stabbing him outside a movie theatre in North Vancouver and beating a teenager with brass knuckles.
The Red Scorpions were later led by the notorious Bacon brothers of Abbotsford, one of whom is dead and two of whom are in prison.
In December 2005, Shirzad was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison after he ordered another Red Scorpion gang member to murder a witness who had testified against Shirzad. That order was done while Shirzad was behind bars on another matter, an incident in which a North Vancouver home was shot up.
At an October 2010 court hearing, Shirzad claimed he had left the gang life.
After being sentenced to three years in jail for weapons offences, Shirzad told the court: "I see this as a learning curve. Hopefully, when my time is done, I'll never have to come back to court again. I've pretty much learned my lesson."