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Condoms not for a brothel, says accused

THE trial of a Chinese man accused of allowing two Dublin apartments to be used as brothels has heard evidence from men who visited the flats.

Di Wei (31) has pleaded not guilty to knowingly allowing an apartment at The Innings, Observatory Lane, Rathmines, to be used as a brothel or for habitual prostitution between February and April, 2011.

He also denied permitting an apartment at Fastnet Block, Custom House Harbour, to be used for the same purposes between April and July, 2011.

Wei, of Dolphin's Barn, South Circular Road, Dublin 8, admitted buying condoms for women in the apartments, but said it was because they had an online condoms business.

PROSTITUTION

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told that after gardai raided the Rathmines address, Wei continued to rent the other apartment.

In raids on both properties, officers found paraphernalia associated with prostitution.

Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, told the jury it would hear evidence that Wei had been "intimately involved" in running brothels at both addresses.

He said transactions through Wei's Permanent TSB bank account would show he paid sums to a company called E-designers, which runs a website for an escort service.

Gardai will produce print-offs from the service of women advertising prostitution.

Several men gave evidence about using prostitutes at the apartments. One said he rang a number he found online and was directed to the flat in Rathmines and given an access code for the gate.

He added that a woman of "oriental origin" with limited English opened the door, after which they had sex in the back bedroom for €100.

The witness claimed he went there three times and was met by a different woman on each occasion, except for the third time, when he was met by gardai. He agreed to make a statement afterwards.

Another man said he went to an internet cafe on O'Connell Street, typed in the name of a website and found a Chinese woman called YoYo.

He rang a number and spoke to a woman with an Asian accent who directed him to an apartment block at the back of Connolly Station.

He saw a slim girl in her early 30s walking through the gates to the complex and realised it had been her on the phone.

He followed her to the apartment, and in the lift she said: "How long you stay? Hour or half hour? €100 for half hour."

He gave her €100 and she told him to get undressed and get onto the bed.

The woman left the room for a short while, then came back and gave him a massage and performed a sex act on him.

The witness also told the court that he went another time to a woman called Ling Ling, who was aged 21 or 22.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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