Monday 18 December 2017

Gardai to destroy brothel videos

Ralph Riegel

PHOTOGRAPHS and computer records relating to covert cameras in two brothels which were seized by gardai are to be destroyed.

But brothel customers are worried there may be copies of the material captured by the cameras at the two Cork sex shops over a period of months.

Detectives have had inquiries from men originally contacted as part of their investigation into the brothel operation about the recordings made by the hidden cameras, which were installed by the brothel owner.

Patrons of the brothels are now terrified recordings of their activities with the prostitutes could fall into the wrong hands.

Detectives were astonished to discover that the brothers were fitted with secret cameras in the rooms used by the prostitutes -- and that images from the brothels were being transmitted, via a secure internet video link, to a house in north Cork.

That property was the Scartbarry, Watergrasshill home of convicted brothel keeper, Anthony 'Tony' Linnane (54).

Linnane is now serving a 15-month prison sentence imposed by the Circuit Criminal Court last week -- and is set to pay the Criminal Asset Bureau (CAB) and the State €1.5m in tax and penalties as a settlement.

The settlement is comprised of €1.043m in cash -- which has to be paid by 2011 -- and the handover of the Grafton Street and John Street properties.

The cameras were installed in such a manner in the two brothels that it was impossible for unsuspecting patrons not to be caught on camera.

Linnane -- a father of five and former Limerick chimneysweep -- was targeted by gardai and CAB as part of 'Operation Boulder', a major crackdown on the illegal sex trade in 2006/2007.

Gardai were shocked at the vast scale of earnings enjoyed by Linnane from the brothels.

Garda surveillance confirmed that the two brothels boasted 264 patrons in the space of just six days -- generating an estimated weekly turnover of €46,000, half of which was paid to the prostitutes involved.

The court heard that when Linnane's home was raided by gardai, a staggering €110,000 in cash was seized. Linnane will now get €60,000 back while he will forfeit €50,000 to the State.

Irish Independent

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