A nightclub in Northampton, England has been shut down after it was found to be the headquarters of a massive money and drug laundering scheme. The bar — Ice Lounge — was used as a way to launder money from a massive cocaine dealing ring. The Northampton Council's licensing committee was told that the lease for the building was returned to the building's owners, who told police they had no idea that the money laundering was going on, and cooperated with the investigation fully.
The owner of Ice Lounge, Joseph O'Neill, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to supply the cocaine that was used in the laundering plan. During the investigation, police wanted the license of the club revoked, but were told it had been given up by the building's owners and the nightclub had been shut down entirely.
The report that was prepared by the police leading the investigation said they believe that O'Neill, 36, bought the Ice Lounge in September 2011 with money that he had made from his cocaine dealing operation. The nightclub was just a part of his plan to be able to launder the massive amounts of money that he was making through his drug business. The report also said that the club was operated on a day to day basis by an organized crime gang and was used for the specific purpose of laundering the money that was made from selling cocaine all over England.
While O'Neill has been sentenced to his lengthy prison term, there is no word yet on whether the Ice Lounge will open up under new management. Police said that the owners of the building were not complicit in any crimes, and were appreciative of the help they offered in the investigation.