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Saturday 23 September 2017

Brothel boss Carroll ordered to hand over €2.2m

The head of a family-run prostitution ring has been ordered to hand over almost £2m (€2.2m) from his proceeds of crime.

Irishman Thomas Carroll, jailed for seven years in Wales for controlling prostitution and money-laundering, must give up his criminal gains or face another 10 years behind bars.

A judge at Cardiff Crown Court granted the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) a confiscation order for £1,902,496 (€2,197,780.85) against Carroll.

His assets include four houses in Wales, three houses in South Africa and four cars, including two Mercedes.

Carroll, 49, originally from Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, fled to Wales to avoid prosecution when he was quizzed by gardai over his network of brothels.

He continued to run his family business from a rented house in the small hamlet of Castlemartin with his partner Shamiela Clark, 33, and his 27-year-old daughter Toma Carroll.

Both women are also in prison for their roles in running the multi-million euro prostitution network, which involved trafficking Nigerian women into Ireland and forcing them to work as prostitutes all over the country.

The three were convicted in February 2010 after an international investigation by gardai, the PSNI and Soca.

In his judgment last Friday, Judge Bidder QC ruled Carroll's assets, including multiple properties, were purchased with the proceeds of crime.

He said: "This defendant has shown that he is prepared to squirrel away in properties abroad the proceeds of his prostitution business.

"He is a convicted money-launderer. He is determined and astute."

The court previously heard one room in the house in Wales was a dedicated call centre where they co-ordinated their clients' calls - receiving up to 300 in any one day for all their brothels throughout the UK and Ireland.

Some women, mainly from Europe, were recruited through advertisements on the internet and through publications in the UK.

Others from Nigeria were trafficked into the UK believing they were escaping to a better life. They were told they would be educated and become hairdressers or seamstresses.

Instead, young women and girls were subjected to bizarre rituals to scare them into a life of prostitution.

Some were shoved into coffins and witnessed chicken slaughter before they were trafficked from Nigeria and coerced into the prostitution ring.

The prostitutes, who charged €260 for an hour and €160 for half an hour, were told to pay their earnings into her bank account so that she could then move the money into an account that could be accessed by Carroll.

All the money they made was taken back to pay off their 'debt' to their traffickers.

Last year Clark was sentenced to two and a half years for conspiracy to control prostitution and one year for conspiracy to money laundering, to run consecutively.

A confiscation order was also granted against her for £360,000 (€415,000). A default sentence of three years imprisonment was imposed.

Meanwhile Toma Carroll was jailed for two years for money laundering.

The court had heard that, from 2002, increasing amounts of money were deposited into her bank account.

In 2006 €111,000 were deposited, in 2007 €1.13m and in 2008 €500,000 had been deposited by September.



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