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‘Amsterdam closes Red Light District’

11 August 2006 – Thirty-seven entrepreneurs in the Red Light District have been told that their licenses will not be renewed. Together, they own more than half the ‘windows’ behind which the district’s prostitutes work, Radio Netherlands’ Eric Hesen reports.

Using the Bibob Act, the municipality denies licenses to entrepreneurs who can be linked to criminal money. However, lawyer Han Jahae says that his client – by far the biggest entrepreneur of the Red Light District – is dealt with on the basis of cases that never resulted in a conviction.

In one case he was not a suspect, while another was settled out of court. “So it is extremely bitter to see the council impose this kind of sanction now on the basis of those cases, some other loose ends and information which is demonstrably incorrect”.

Many residents and entrepreneurs fear that the municipality is going to close down the Red Light District. Mariska Majoor of the Prostitution Information Centre would rather not think of that option: “Last year, they shut down the red light district in the city of Arnhem despite many people thinking that would never happen, but I think it is a different story with Amsterdam’s Red Light district”.

Source: Radio Netherlands


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