No po­lice ac­tion in city strip club fraud probe

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

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

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