Accusations of £200,000 fraud and money laundering at Canning Town nightclub
PUBLISHED: 17:08 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 13 November 2019
The council has shut down a Canning Town nightclub after police arrested two men running the venue on suspicion of money laundering.
National Crime Agency investigators are leading the case. On top of the money laundering, they've alleged fraudulent funds were used to buy £200,000 of high-value DJ equipment at the venue.
People convicted of that level of fraud could get up to 10 years in prison, according to a statement from a Met police officer.
Officers arrested both the suspects and seized equipment as they searched the club, called Fold, on October 22. The investigation is ongoing.
Fold had its licence suspended at a November 11 committee meeting, where councillors were shown a police superintendent's statement testifying it was linked to serious crime. The venue had permission to operate through the night and well into the morning on weekends as it's on an industrial site.
But that police statement noted: "The premises itself has not frequently come to our attention as being associated with wider crime and disorder."
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Fold said in a November 13 Facebook post that it is appealing the decision, which hit it "by surprise and extremely hard".
"We feel extremely blessed to have built a community around Fold that can't be compared or replicated," the post read. "Every single one of you has made Fold more than just four walls and a sound-system."
The announcement has received more than 400 comments overwhelmingly in support of the venue.
Another man, who said he lived close to the club, praised its staff and management.
People who live near haven't always been that supportive. The Newham Recorder reported complaints from residents last year. Problems included drugs and needles left on doorsteps and noise from revellers heading home from a night out.
The club said in a statement at the time its has strict procedures to stop residents being disturbed. It added it strived to have the highest operational standards and urged residents to get in touch with any issues.
Fold is set to make its case to councillors on Friday, November 15, according to a council spokesman.