A MAN has been arrested by detectives investigating the theft of money from Basingstoke nightclub Wonderland.
Detectives arrested a 30-year-old man from Surrey last Thursday, January 2, in connection with the investigation. He has been released on bail until Friday, February 14, pending further enquiries.
The news of the arrest comes amid questions by customers about the nightclub’s future, after it was closed on Friday, January 3 , and Saturday, January 4. On its Facebook site, it was stated the club did not open “due to the days that Christmas and New Year’s Eve fell” and added its next event, called DIRTEE POP, would take place on January 10.
But people were seen taking stock and sound equipment out of the nightclub last Saturday. A sign was also removed from above the front entrance of the nightclub on Monday.
Facebook users have asked on the club’s page whether the nightclub has closed permanently, but have not received a reply.
No Saints Ltd, a hospitality and entertainment business, based in Milton Keynes, which runs Wonderland, did not return calls by The Gazette about the closure.
The building occupied by Wonderland is owned by Festival Place. Steven Connolly, centre director, said he could not confirm whether the nightclub has closed permanently. He added: “We have been trying to make contact, but have not heard anything back yet.”
Wonderland opened in 2012 after the previous occupants of the nightclub, Liquid, closed when its parent company went into administration.
The new venue had an Alice-in-Wonderland theme, with decorated walls and themed cocktail drinks.
In January last year, it was granted a licence extension, meaning it could sell alcohol until 4am, with a closing time of 4.30am.
A month later, two men, one armed with a handgun, robbed the nightclub, threatening then manager Samir Bekkale with a handgun as he was cashing up on a Monday lunchtime. Around £10,000 was taken.
In November, Ashley Flanagan and Anthony Bermingham, were found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to rob the nightclub, and each received a jail sentence of 12 years.
Flanagan, of Pinkerton Road, South Ham, Basingstoke, was deputy manager at the nightclub and had provided vital information to Bermingham, who then carried out the robbery with another man.