Suspended terms for brothel keepers

Published Wednesday, 30 May 2012
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Three Polish women have pleaded guilty to running an "unsophisticated" brothel following a major cross-border operation into prostitution, money laundering and organised crime.

Suspended terms for brothel keepers
Organised Crime Branch officers raid an apartment complex in Belfast. (© PA)

Sandra Polewska, Milena Tarnowska - both aged 23 - and Marta Kozakowska, 27, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. They also faced a charge of possession of criminal property.

Kozakowska admitted a third offence of obstructing police by swallowing a mobile phone SIM card when police entered their apartment.

The women were arrested at an apartment in Alfred Street on Tuesday, but a lawyer for the defence said the accused were not exploited and had been working for their own gains.

All three were given two month suspended sentences after the judge accepted that the women were not involved in human trafficking.

Polewska claimed to be a student who had visited Northern Ireland six or seven times to work as a prostitute, advertising her services on an escort website.

Tarnowska told police she arrived for "fun and socialising" during a two-week stay before returning to get married in Poland.

But Kozakowska, who had been in Northern Ireland since last November, also admitted providing sexual services.

She was said to have taken calls and bookings at the apartment because she spoke better English than the other two.

Over 120 police raids were carried out as part of Operation Quest and five people detained in Northern Ireland after more than 20 properties were searched across the region.

Two other women arrested in the operation have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Three suspected victims of human trafficking were rescued and taken to places of safety where specially trained officers have conducted interviews with them.

A man and two women were also arrested in the Republic during the cross-border raids, which involved a total of over 370 police officers - around 170 PSNI officers and over 200 members of An Garda Síochána - and took weeks of planning.

Law enforcement officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, Europol and the UK Border Agency are assisting the PSNI and An Garda Síochána in the operation.

Police and gardaí also seized a significant number of documents, phones and computers as well as cash.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Eamonn Andrews in Belfast wrote (975 days ago):
There has to be some thing wrong with the whole judical system.How can 170 PSNI officers,And 200 GARDI, spending two weeks ands god knows at what cost.Make arrests for serious crimes,and when these people are brought to court they are released on bail.Can some one explain why and how this thing is happening,And is there any reveiw in stormont to get these laws changed.This would save alot of tax payers money,that could be put to better use.Theres not really much sence in having a goverment at all.
Brendan McClinton in USA wrote (976 days ago):
If you want to live a life of crime,Northern Ireland seems to be the place to go to avoid any real punishment.
brian in belfast wrote (976 days ago):
The police smashed my door down yesterday as part of the raid they said sorry it was a mistake they left me unable to close my front door it was the most terrifying experince of my life, 20 properties were raidedby 170 PNSI officers 5 arrested 3 say they were working for themselves to me this was just a PR stunt
frank in belfast wrote (976 days ago):
this is what happens when you allow mass immigration,,i thought we only allowed people who were a benefit to the country in,not criminals and people who live of our benefits,,and before the bleeding heart brigade pull the racist card out,,im not aganist immigrants im aganist the immigration policy,people who are of no benefit to this country,who just want to live on the benefits or scam at every oppertunity should not be permitted into this country or any country for that matter
john in Shanghai wrote (976 days ago):
reads like propaganda people where not arrested, they where taken to places of safety
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