A series of alleged spikings, and thefts, could see a Soho strip club shut down after 10 victims lost £250,000, says a council report.
The incidents occurred at Vanity Bar and Nightclub on Carlisle Street, where victims have reported waking up and finding as much as £98,000 missing from their accounts.
Most recently a man said he woke up in a street near his home after blacking out when he visited the strip club on November 26, 2022. He recalled buying a drink but claimed he had no other memories until he woke up the next day, reports MyLondon.
However, when he checked his bank account he had sent money to a number of accounts he did not know and had lost more than £19,000.
A Westminster City Council report into the incident said: “In the early hours of November 26, 2022, a male became a victim of drink spiking and theft. The male recalls entering Vanity and purchasing a drink. The male has no recollection after this point. The victim came around the next day and was in a street near to his home address.
“The victim has checked his bank and found approximately £3,000 payments were taken by Vanity over four transactions. There were numerous other transactions made to different people and companies to the approximate value of £16,000.
“The victim is of the belief that his drink was spiked or drugged in Vanity. The victim has no recollection whatsoever of being in Vanity and had not authorised these transactions.”
A police report into the incident from PC Steve Muldoon added: “The victim woke up the next day and was in a street near his home address and he subsequently checked Google Maps and found he was at Vanity and then left approximately two hours after arriving.
“He found himself at a location on Google Maps showing a car wash where he was for nearly two and a half hours. He was then dropped near his home. Google Maps has this down as a route he was driven. The victim does not know how he arrived at these locations or how he has returned home.”
The four payments worth £3,000 charged to the victim by Vanity put him in his overdraft, according to the police statement. Another three payments worth £500 had also been made to Vanity on another account. A further £2,260 was paid to a cafe and there were two payments worth nearly £14,000 to an unknown business.
This is the tenth time that the police have been contacted about similar incidents from inside the venue and as much as £250,000 could have been stolen, according to the Met Police.
Police logs into the incidents show that one victim claimed he woke up in a brothel after he visited Vanity. He later discovered £98,000 had been transferred from his accounts. Another victim told the police £37,500 had been taken from his account.
Two other victims reported waking up the next morning and discovering £30,000 had been taken from their accounts. Now the police have asked for the venue to have its licence suspended and Westminster City Council is set to hold a review.
When the council published its report on the nightclub it was still waiting on documents from Vanity. But the venue is expected to submit a large amount of evidence. A full review of the club is set to take place at a Westminster City Council licensing meeting on January 9.
West End councillor Paul Fisher told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “If you have an alcohol licence in Westminster, it is imperative that you treat the safety of your consumers as a priority.
“If you do not, you will suffer the consequences. The committee report evidences a staggering level of crimes committed against consumers attending this venue. It is absolutely right that this review hearing take place and I support it wholeheartedly as well as the legitimate concerns expressed by the Soho Society.”
Prior to publication, the Local Democracy Service contacted Vanity but did not receive a comment.