London venue FOLD ordered to shut by Newham Council over fraud allegations

  • Published
    Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 18:55
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  • The Canning Town club's license has been suspended as a money laundering investigation by the National Crime agency is underway.
  • London venue FOLD ordered to shut by Newham Council over fraud allegations image
  • Newham Council has suspended FOLD's license to operate. In an Instagram post Wednesday morning, the Canning Town venue stated: "Last night, serious accusations were brought to us and the local licensing committee. As a result of such, our license has been suspended and an immediate shut down of the club, without fair trial, has been imposed." FOLD is currently appealing the suspension. They hope to remain open this weekend and for all future events. The club opened in East London last year, quickly becoming a hotspot for underground nightlife with its 24-hour license. Update, 12:50 PM: According to public legal documents from Newham Council, FOLD's premises license is under review "on the grounds that in the opinion of a senior police officer the premises are associated with serious crime." Another court document further clarifies the National Crime Agency investigation is over alleged fraud "relating to approximately £200,000 worth of material," later specified as "high-value DJ equipment." Two people associated with the club—including premises license holder and director of Artsintheeast Ltd., Lasha Zhorzholiani—have been arrested "on suspicion of conspiracy to commit money laundering." Update, 6:55 PM: FOLD has shared a statement with Resident Advisor regarding the forced closure and allegations. Read it in full.
    FOLD denies all allegations of impropriety including the specific allegations of fraud against FOLD itself and any of its employees. The police's investigation is ongoing, and FOLD will assist with the investigation fully. FOLD is confident that the police will conclude that FOLD has not acted improperly, failing which FOLD will continue the fight until the truth is revealed. The allegations are completely without merit, and no one has been charged. In the meantime, FOLD's premises licence has been temporarily suspended as a result of a request made by the police at a hearing which we were not allowed to attend. FOLD has asked for the suspension to be reviewed, and FOLD's legal team will seek to demonstrate that this is not a situation that merits its premises license being suspended. In the meantime, FOLD will remain closed until the suspension is lifted, however we will continue to push to see FOLD reopening as soon as possible. FOLD will not give up until this injustice is rectified. FOLD will continue to be an inclusive venue providing a safe yet exciting London venue for the LGBTQ and minority communities.
    London Night Czar Amy Lamé has also responded to RA's request for comment. "I'm aware that FOLD's license has been suspended and am currently in contact with the venue, Newham Council and the Metropolitan Police about this matter," she said in a brief statement. RA's upcoming twenty four/seven London event is set to take place at FOLD on December 7th to 8th. We'll update ticket holders when we have more information.