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London Club FOLD Has License Suspended
Christian Eede , November 13th, 2019 11:46

Newham Council has ordered the venue to shut amid charges of fraud, though it is appealing the decision

London club FOLD has been ordered to shut by Newham Council after its license was suspended.

Writing on Instagram this morning, the club said: "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."

The post continues: "We feel extremely blessed to have built a community around FOLD that can't be compared or replicated. Every single one of you has made FOLD more than just four walls and a sound-system; we all have created a new way of thinking, a way of uniting and more importantly, given a refreshing meaning to the words safe space. This is all thanks to you, our community."

The club says that it's currently appealing the decision and aims to re-open for events this weekend and going forward.

According to a document published by Newham Council, pertaining to the license suspension, the club's closure and license suspension is related to charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Two arrests of people who are believed to be "actively involved in the running and operation of the premises" have been made in connection with the case. One of those is named in the document as Lasha Zhorzholiani, who is sole director of Artsintheeast Ltd, which is the license holding company for FOLD.

The minutes from the meeting about the suspension, which took place last night (November 12), say that £200,000 worth of "high value DJ equipment" was seized in connection with the charges as it was suspected to have been purchased with "fraudulent funds".

You can find the minutes from last night's meeting here.

UPDATE

FOLD has provided a statement to Resident Advisor regarding the allegations and license suspensions, You can read it in full below.

"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."

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