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Operators on 'de Wallen' face close scrutiny by city

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM – It is a tourist destination that causes many problems for officials in the Dutch capital. They are welcoming the news that housing corporations are negotiating the purchase of a number of buildings on ‘the Wallen’ that house brothels, cafes and drug selling ‘coffeeshops’. The city has been trying to curtail prostitution for some time over concerns that the brothels may be employing women who were forced into this type of activity. The other issue that pushed the city into action is money laundering by organized crime. Although the city is not a negotiation partner this time, it was involved in a purchase last year. Those windows now display fashion ateliers. The city also is using an auditing bureau, which monitors firms for proper licensing and permits. The firm reports violations to the city, which then may cancel licenses and permits.