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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008, 06:43 GMT
Court shuts top Amsterdam brothel
The facade of the Yab Yum Club brothel
The Yab Yum Club is appealing against the closure
A Dutch judge has ordered a leading Amsterdam brothel to close, as part of a campaign to cut links between the sex trade and organised crime.

The judge upheld the city's complaint that the Yab Yum Club had been taken over by the Hells Angels biker gang.

The brothel, which describes itself as up-market and exclusive, denies this.

In September the city announced plans to buy about 50 shop fronts where prostitutes display themselves, and turn them into businesses or homes.

In December the municipality decided to withdraw the Yab Yum Club's licence.

The club - which operates from a 17th-Century canal house in Old Amsterdam and charges clients about $500 (250) a time - challenged the move.

Ahead of Friday's court decision it said allegations that it was controlled by the Hells Angels were "absolutely wrong".

But an Amsterdam city council spokeswoman said after the ruling: "This shows we did the right thing by not giving out the permit and closing the brothel."

The mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, has said that although prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, there is too much of the sex trade in the city centre.

He also said that the trade involved exploitation and trafficking of women, and other kinds of criminal activity.


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