Sex racket was raking in €50,000 a week profit
This from Irish Independent (note the bit about business being down recently and that they were NOT trafficked)
Sex racket was raking in €50,000 a week profit - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
A major prostitution racket, broken up by gardai and other police forces on Wednesday, was raking in profits of €50,000 a week before the recession.
Inquiries into the racket revealed that more than a dozen brothels were turning over earnings of up to €10,000 a day for the alleged mastermind, a Co Carlow man arrested in Milford Haven, Wales.
But some of the girls, who were interviewed by detectives after the raids on nine brothels in this jurisdiction, admitted that business was no longer as brisk in the past few months because of the downturn.
Gardai believe that a large slice of the profits has been invested in property in Ireland, the UK and Bulgaria.
The money trail was last night being followed by forensic examiners from the Criminal Assets Bureau and their counterparts in Britain. This may result in the seizure of 10 properties, including three in Co Carlow and some in the North.
One senior officer told the Irish Independent last night: "This has been a huge money spinner for the organisers of the prostitution ring and the money was then being laundered through property deals."
The raids were the culmination of more than a year of detailed inquiries, codenamed Operation Abbey.
Four men and three women, who were arrested here on suspicion of organising and managing prostitution, were all released without charge. A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will determine if criminal charges will be brought.
They were all detained following searches of six premises in Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, and the offices of solicitors and accountants in Carlow town.
Police in Wales continued to question the mastermind (47) and his South African girlfriend (31) last night. A decision is likely to be made today whether they are to be charged.
Gardai believe the couple had been planning to leave Milford Haven where they were suspected of running a call centre at the heart of the internet and mobile phone-based racket.
Detectives say the mastermind, already well known to them, used his Milford Haven base to run the brothels located in several areas there. Gardai raided nine brothels in Cavan, Drogheda, Athlone, Mullingar, Newbridge, Sligo, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy and Waterford.
All of the foreign national women interviewed by gardai claimed they had not been trafficked into the country.
Gardai said those responsible for bringing them here and putting them into prostitution faced the possibility of criminal charges linked to human trafficking.