The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan has confirmed that of the 18 individuals charged with brothel-keeping here over the past two and a half years, 10 are Romanian.
In a written Dáil reply to Deputy Bríd Smith TD, Minister Flanagan has stated that the 18 prosecutions since March 2017 are at various stages. The nationality of the persons charged with brothel-keeping is: Romanian, 10; Hungarian, 5; and Chinese, 3.
Minister Flanagan said there are a further six cases concerning people charged with the organisation of prostitution and the cases are still before the courts.
The Minister stated that of the six people charged, four are female and two are male and the nationality of the persons concerned is: Irish, 1; Hungarian, 1; Chinese, 1; and Nigerian, 3.
Minister Flanagan said that in relation to the prosecutions for the offence of purchasing sex, the Gardaí are committed to targeting the demand for prostitution and protecting vulnerable persons.
As part of Operation Quest, two days of action were carried out recently on Nov 21 and 22 to target the demand for sexual services and to enforce law criminalising the purchase of such services.
He stated that in the course of this intelligence-led operation, a total of 23 individuals were stopped and spoken to by members of An Garda Síochána, arising from suspicion of having purchased sexual services from persons involved in prostitution:
“A number of investigation files will now be prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions, with a view to establishing if any criminal prosecution is to be initiated in these cases.”