Celebrity hangout shut down by vice squad
A lap dancing club known as a celebrity hangout has been shut down by vice squad police who said it was an underground brothel.
Officers swooped on the Capricorn Club, in London's West End, last night after a six-month undercover operation.
They arrested five men and two women as they raided the Goodge Street night-spot and eight other addresses across the capital and Essex.
Officers seized £26,000 in cash, several wraps of cocaine, a knife and a knuckle-duster and questioned 18 women of various nationalities.
The club hit the headlines when Rolling Stones legend Ronnie Wood reportedly met his 20-year-old Russian girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova there last year.
Detective Inspector John Anderson said the club was popular with City workers and was known as a place where sex and drugs were freely available.
He said: "It's hard to believe that in the middle of a well-known area like Goodge Street, these shady dealings were blatantly going on.
"This type of criminal activity is a nuisance and a blight on the community who live and work in the area.
"Now this club has been shut down, the prostitution that went on has ceased and those running the club have lost a lucrative and immoral source of income."
The operation by the Met's clubs and vice unit, codenamed Vermilion, revealed sex was sold for up to £250 within the club.
Clients who wanted to go elsewhere would pay up to £300 to visit a hotel and also had to buy a bottle of house champagne for £135.
Undercover investigators also discovered cocaine was available in the club on request.
They found the club boasted a professional client base, largely made up of wealthy City and white collar workers.
The women who worked there came from countries including France, Portugal, Brazil, Albania, Jamaica and Britain.
Strippers and prostitutes paid a percentage of the fee to the club for each "service" and were allowed to keep the rest.
Detectives believe those running the club were making tens of thousands of pounds every week.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said three men, aged 45, 63 and 69, were arrested at the club, where cocaine and cash were found. The knife and knuckle-duster were found in a car outside.
A 44-year-old man was arrested in Holloway, north London, and a 55-year-old man was held in Stansted.
A woman in her 50s was arrested in Mitcham, south London, and a 49-year-old woman was held in Hendon, north west London.
The spokesman said all seven remained in custody today at a central London police station.
Around £24,000 and more drugs were found at addresses in Bow and the Isle of Dogs, both in east London, linked to two of the men suspects.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party