Police Storm Beijing Nightclubs in Drug and ID Crackdown

By Oscar Holland, November 19, 2016

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Beijing police carried out a series of nightclub raids last night, with partygoers required to provide ID and – in some cases – urine samples. The city’s largest gay club Destination was among the targets, as were popular Gulou spots Temple Bar and Dada.

Reports from the affected venues say that police blocked off exits and demanded to see revelers’ passports or Chinese ID cards. At Destination in Gongti, approximately 50 uniformed officers arrived unannounced, before carrying out on-the-spot drug tests. According to a statement on the club’s WeChat account, checks took over two hours and “suspicious” urine led to three arrests.

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Police carrying out checks in Destination

Over in Gulou, police are understood to have arrived at Dada between 11pm and midnight. The venue was reportedly quiet at the time, with hours still to go before a performance by Mr. C. Here, ID and venue safety checks took place, though we have received no direct reports of drug tests.

After warnings filtered upstairs to Temple Bar, which is located just above Dada, partygoers spoken to by That's Beijing were able to leave the venue before exits were blocked off. Shortly after, approximately 12 officers – including two plainclothes policemen – arrived at the bar. A number of drinkers, including some who were unable to present identification, were taken downstairs for drug testing. 

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Police parked outside Destination

Having spoken to a number of those in attendance, we have received conflicting information about the number of arrests – if any – made in the Temple-Dada complex. There have also been reports of a wider crackdown in the Gongti and Gulou areas, though we again unable to confirm news of further raids at the time of publishing. 

Temple reopened to customers after the incident, but the bar has announced that it will be closed this evening (Saturday). Destination, meanwhile, has confirmed that it is open for business as usual tonight.

A statement from Dada explains that the venue is “temporarily closed this weekend,” though tonight’s Elijah and Skilliam show will go ahead at ModernSky Lab, according to organizers The Syndicate.

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