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Canning Town nightclub wins right to stay open despite fraud and money laundering investigation

PUBLISHED: 17:30 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:30 18 November 2019

Canning Town's Fold nightclub has won the right to open its doors for now, despite a National Crime Agency investigation. Its fate is set to be decided by the licensing committee in the coming weeks. Picture: Ken Mears.

Canning Town's Fold nightclub has won the right to open its doors for now, despite a National Crime Agency investigation. Its fate is set to be decided by the licensing committee in the coming weeks. Picture: Ken Mears.

Archant

Canning Town's Fold nightclub has won the right to stay open for now.

It had its licence suspended on November 11 after police linked it with suspected fraud and money laundering.

But after arguments against the suspension, the Met said the venue could open on the condition that neither of the two men linked with the club who have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering help with the day-to-day running of the venture and that they stay away from the premises.

The suspension of the licence was lifted at a special meeting of Newham Council's licensing sub-committee on Friday, November 15. It was in time for an event scheduled for the club that evening. It reportedly has capacity for around 500 people.

To make their decision, details of the investigation were heard by the members of the sub-committee in private, excluding the press and members of the public.

The National Crime Agency searched the club on October 22. A Met superintendent said in a statement officers seized £200,000 worth of DJ equipment they suspected was bought with fraudulent funds and arrested two men, 31 and 33, on suspicion of money laundering.

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The investigation is ongoing.

The club has denied the allegations. It said in a statement: "We at Fold deny any accusations of wrongdoing or impropriety against us or any individual employee and are assisting with the police's ongoing investigation."

Addressing supporters, it said: "We could not have achieved this without your ongoing support and the actions of our community in the last 36 hours.

"We have proven once again that together we can stand strong in the face of adversity. We would like to thank every single one of you that has supported us in this difficult period.

"Our activities will return with immediate effect, with the same passion, with the same love.

"Fold are confident that the police will conclude that [it has] not acted improperly, failing which Fold will fight until the truth is revealed."

Councillors will be deciding if the venue can permanently keep operating at a full licensing committee in the coming weeks.

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