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Geneva club closed over suspected sex trade

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Screenshot of the club's now defunct website.
23:06 CEST+02:00
Geneva's Pussy Cat Saloon has been closed by the city's vice squad over an alleged prostitution racket.

The cabaret near the city’s Old Town, advertised as a “lap dance nightclub”, was shut down late on Tuesday night after the manager and an employee were arrested.

The pair are suspected of encouraging dancers at the club to engage in prostitution.

Under the direction of prosecutor Rita Sethi-Karam, members of the vice squad descended on the nightclub after 10 pm and proceeded to search the establishment, according to a statement issued by Geneva justice authorities on Wednesday.

The authorities said they have launched an investigation into suspected encouragement of prostitution at the club.

But otherwise they are not commenting on the affair.

Police sealed the premises with tape and the club remains closed until further notice.

The Pussy Cat Saloon’s website was inaccessible on Thursday.

However, an advertisement for the night spot could be found on Clubsandjobs.com, an online site that highlights employment opportunities in night spots, such as the “best strip dancer jobs”.

Photos promoting the saloon include one showing a scantily clad woman sprawled across the top of a bar.

A report from 20 MInutes newspaper said that according to its sources dancers at the club were incited to prostitute themselves, contrary to the law.

The newspaper said the practice had been carried out for several years at the Pussy Cat Saloon.

Prostitution is legal in Geneva but only in massage parlours or closed premises.

The 20 Minutes newspaper said the Pussy Cat is owned by a rich Vaud man in his 70s.

It said that many complaints have already been filed about the club.

Two years ago, Geneva authorities closed down two other similar clubs for illegal prostitution.

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