Shoreditch nightclub shut following police concern over alleged links to laundering proceeds from prostitution and brothels

East Village nightclub in Great Eastern Street

East Village nightclub in Great Eastern Street - Credit: Archant

Police suspicions Shoreditch nightclub, East Village, is linked to laundering proceeds from prostitution and brothels meant it was shut down with immediate effect this week.

East Village nightclub in Great Eastern Street

East Village nightclub in Great Eastern Street - Credit: Archant

Two men involved with East Village were arrested and bailed on Thursday June 13 for an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act, spurring Hackney Police’s licensing unit to ask the council for an urgent expedited review of the nightclub in Great Eastern Street.

Police then requested a closure order of the licence by Hackney Council on the basis of allegations that the venue is linked to “the laundering of proceeds from prostitution and brothels.”

The club’s licence had been revoked last May, after police raised concerns about clients entering with weapons and the high level of crime there, but it has continued to operate pending a decision on appeal to the magistrates’ court.

Licensing and night time economy inspector Ian Simpkins said this week: “We requested a closure order pending the full review on the basis that the venue in Great Eastern Street was undermining the licensing objective of ‘prevention of crime and disorder’.”

The council’s licensing sub-committee revoked its licence on Wednesday, pending a full review hearing next month.

A spokesman for Hackney Council said members of the sub-committee had considered other options including amending the licensing conditions, but were not satisfied any other option would adequately address the concerns raised.

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In the six month period from November 2011 which led to the initial review, police claim there were four instances of actual bodily harm, and two of grievous bodily harm with one victim losing an eye and a bouncer’s jaw getting broken, as well as 44 reported thefts at the club.

Underage police cadets sent into East Village in Great Eastern Street were not searched or challenged about their age, and alcohol was sold to them, police officers claimed.

Meanwhile, on the same weekend plain-clothed officers said they managed to get past the security search carrying a weapon.

A post on the East Village Facebook page from Stuart Patterson said the suspension this week had come as an “absolute shock”.

“I’m gutted to say the least,” he said.

“I am not clear on how this will develop but what I do know is that I have worked with great promoters, the finest DJs I’ve booked at the venue and to all of you that have come down so many times to party, I can’t thank you enough.

“After nearly six years of East Village and four years of Lodge this is pretty devastating after all the hard work.

“However over the next few days I am going to concentrate on supporting the promoters with events currently booked at the venue and get ready to play some records, what all of this is about, for a quality event this Saturday.”

The Soultogether party, due to take place at East Village this Saturday, has been moved to Old Street spot Nomad.

The Gazette approached East Village for a comment but managers have not yet responded.