A BRAZILIAN native has admitted charges of brothel keeping in Ennis and Limerick, after three Romanian women in their 20s were found to be operating as prostitutes from an Ennis apartment last summer.
The court heard that following a surveillance operation, gardaí entered a flat on Bindon Lane in Ennis, where they found a customer having sex with one of the women.
Aulicete Camargo Walsh, 53, of Breskabeg, Clarina, County Limerick appeared before Ennis District Court on Wednesday charged with two counts of brothel keeping and one of using a false instrument.
She was charged that being the tenant/lessee/occupier/person-in-charge of a premises at 18 Bank Square, Bindon Lane, she knowingly permitted it to be used as a brothel for the purpose of habitual prostitution on May 9 last. She is also charged with using a Portuguese driving licence, which she knew to be a false instrument.
The accused is also charged with running a brothel at 6 Crosley House, Dock Road, Limerick on May 27 last.
Detective Garda Stephen Hession outlined to presiding judge Gráinne O’Neill that last May he received information that a brothel was being operated out of 18 Bank Square in Ennis.
He said a surveillance operation was put in place and on May 9, 2016, Walsh was observed pulling up outside the apartment block in a 161 registered car.
“She was observed leading two females with suitcases into the apartment block and bringing them up to Apartment 18,” Detective Hession said.
He said the defendant was stopped on Bindon Street and was arrested on suspicion of brothel keeping.
Gardaí found €1,160 in her possession, a mobile phone and a number of keys to different properties.
Later that evening, Detective Hession said gardaí searched Apartment 18, Bank Square.
“There were three females in the apartment and one customer, who was having sex with one of the girls. The girls were aged 29, 27 and 21 and were all from Romania,” he said.
He said the women made statements to the gardaí and alleged they had paid the defendant €600 to rent the apartment for one week to work as prostitutes.
“They were contacted by Aulicete Walsh and she offered to rent the apartment to them to work as prostitutes,” Detective Hession told the court.
Detective Hession said gardaí conducted four interviews with the defendant and she became co-operative.
He said they continued to conduct inquiries about the defendant, which led them to search another brothel in Limerick.
Judge O’Neill expressed concerns that she may not have the jurisdiction to hear the Limerick case.
She ordered that the case be adjourned for clarity to be sought to ensure that the matter could be heard in Ennis District Court.
The case was put back to March 8 next.
By Carol Byrne