Holloway ‘cocaine club’ closes after raid
PUBLISHED: 16:24 23 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:42 26 February 2015
Police use new powers to prevent final party in troubled venue
A late night club has been shut down after police found three quarters of a kilogram of cocaine upstairs.
Arda 2, a nightclub and restaurant serving Bulgarian food, in Seven Sisters Road, Holloway, was due to be closed last Monday – but police shut the place two days early to stop it having one last blow out.
During a police raid in November 2013, about 750 grams of cocaine were found in the flats above the venue – officers claimed the premises belonged to club.
Police said the drugs haul was the latest in a string of serious crime incidents related to the nightspot – others include a stabbing, a beating with an iron bar and intelligence linking the venue to guns, gangs and prostitution.
Islington Council took its licence away in March 2014 – but the club appealed at magistrates’ court, meaning it could continue to operate. But earlier this month Arda 2’s boss gave up the ghost.
Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We require the highest level of standards of management from licensed properties.
“Arda 2 didn’t come anywhere near meeting those standards so the council revoked the licence.
He added: “Whilst waiting for the appeal, we spotted further licensing offences and prosecuted Arda 2 resulting in a total of £13,000 in fines and costs imposed by the court.
“Even more breaches were found during joint police and council inspections and this was the final straw.”
Islington Police then used new powers to enforce a 48-hour closure notice over club’s final weekend of trading due to fears of a raucous closing party.
Speaking after the bust in 2013, the club owner claimed the cocaine was “nothing to do with the restaurant”. No representatives from the club could be contacted this week.
Two Albanian nationals were arrested in connection with the cocaine bust. They did not answer bail and went on the run – they are currently being hunted by police.
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