No police action in city strip club fraud probe
THE criminal investigation into defunct strip club Legs 11 has gone cold despite police suspecting the former Broad Street venue of defrauding and drugging customers.
West Midlands Police confirmed there were no active lines of enquiry, stating no further action would be taken into the lap dancing venue.
No one has ever been arrested and the probe has now hit a brick wall without new information from the public.
The club was raided by officers in June 2017 following a tip-off about possible human trafficking taking place.
While no evidence was found to support the claim, police uncovered equally disturbing intelligence.
They suspected dancers were allegedly drugging customers and plying them with alcohol in order to make unauthorised credit card transactions worth thousands of pounds.
The sums, ranging from £280 to £19,400, were made through a separate company, not listed on the licence, whose director had links to organised crime groups in Albania, the force alleged.
It emerged that Action Fraud had received 17 reports dating back to 2013 concerning sums totalling £93,000. Four of the cases were said to have taken place in 2017 and amounted to £24,000.
CCTV footage appeared to corroborate the accusations showing men being fuelled with alcohol by dancers.
Trading standards officials also conducted their own checks which found dancers made deliberate contact with customers.
In July the council moved to permanently close the club, including its second venue in Chinatown.
Councillor Bob Beauchamp (Con, Erdington) was shocked at the lack of any prosecution in the case.
He said: “It does surprise me honest.
“I am a bit heartbroken and am quite amazed, but the police are the authority. We have to go along with what they say and if there is nothing they can take any further then so be it.”
Recalling the decision to close Legs 11, Coun Beauchamp added: “It was a no contest. If you read the report it was terrifying.”
The Broad Street venue has been converted into a pie shop. to be since