News of: Monday, January 22 2007,

Brothels in Amsterdam Red Light District remain open

The 33 prostitution companies in the Amsterdam Red Light District have won a court case, enabling them to remain open until all details of the forced closures have been sorted out.

The City of Amsterdam wants to close the 33 companies on suspicion of being involved in money laundering and drugs trade. The licences of the companies were revoked starting January 1 of this year, but the judge has now ruled that Amsterdam can wait until all details of the case have been sorted out.

This means that the companies can remain open for at least another 6 months.

If the companies are closed down, it means that about a third of all prostitution 'windows' in the Red Light District will close.

The city is using powers created under a new law, to close down businesses that are suspected of illegal activities. A special new bureau investigates the risk of criminal money being involved in the company, and if it judges that there is such a real risk, the city can revoke the company's licence.

The city has started talks with banks to promote that banks finance prostitution businesses, so that these businesses do not have to rely on (suspected) criminal money.