Crackdown on growing brothel trade
GARDAI have resumed a crackdown on vice in the north-west. A new brothel was discovered in Sligo town last week -- the fifth in a few months -- and gardai expect to uncover more in the run-up to Christmas.
A raid on Citygate Apartments in the town last Tuesday was prompted by an anonymous tip-off that the sexual services of a 13-year-old girl were for sale.
Gardai later found that the tip was bogus as there was no youngster selling sex on the premises.
However, they did find evidence that the apartment was being run as a brothel, with women operating as prostitutes.
This brings to three the number of apartments in Citygate recently uncovered as brothels.
In addition, two more were shut after raids on North Court apartments in the Quayside area of the town and on Weir House by Hyde Bridge.
Two women, a Spaniard and a Portuguese, appeared in Donegal District Court following Tuesday's raid on Citygate.
They pleaded guilty to using the apartment as a brothel and were fined €300 each by Judge Kevin Kilrane, who also ordered the confiscation of €225 found in the apartment. He was told that another €700 had been paid in rent to a caller the day before the raid. A team of uniformed and undercover gardai has been cracking down since June on Sligo's growing vice crime.
It is suspected that criminal gangs are raking in over €10,000 per week in the town from prostitution.
Already, two Romanian women and a transsexual male have been deported for running one brothel.
Four other women, including Brazilians and Spaniards, were before the courts in July for managing brothels in the town.
A garda source close to the continuing inquiry said: "We anticipate exposing more brothels in the coming weeks.
"This is an ongoing investigation into the professional gangs that run these operations."