Crime and dance music? A story that goes back far longer than you’d think… just ask the owners of Club UK

The story that emerged a few days ago about a DJ being named in connection with a £14million money laundering scam might well surprise you. Me, not so much. I’m aware of at least one other case being investigated by the authorities at the moment – for obvious reasons, I state no names.

Obviously, we don’t know the full details yet and the principle of innocent until proven guilty applies. But crime and dance music are far more closely linked, in general, than anyone cares to admit – just ask the people who used to run Club UK in Wandsworth, south London.

This club used to run from 1993 and attracted many of the big names – names as diverse as Tall Paul, Danny Rampling, Jeff Mills and Juan Atkins used to perform there. They lost their licence to operate in January 1997, following persistent problems with drugs at the venue.

The club was raided by police a number of times during its history – and the most famous took place on the night of Saturday, 14th October 1995. Just after midnight, the music was stopped and some 150 police officers burst into the venue. They brought sniffer dogs and even Territorial Army officers in with them. All 800 clubbers had to leave – the whole event was even filmed by ITV’s London licence holders at the time for news bulletin London Tonight.

The man who ran security at the club was Tony Tucker. He used to charge dealers a sort of “rent” in exchange for the right to sell in the club. Tucker’s luck only got worse after this. The death of Leah Betts happened in November and it was strongly suspected Tucker was involved in supplying the tablet that resulted in her passing. He was murdered, alongside two of his colleagues, the following month.

The drugs haven’t gone away, either…

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