Irish Gardaí have searched a number of locations as part of a two day nationwide operation targeting organised prostitution, which was supported by Europol. The searches follow a six month long investigation into the activities of a criminal group involved in organised prostitution, brothel keeping and other associated criminal activity. The operation was conducted in close cooperation with Europol as part of an initiative targeting mobile organised crime groups active throughout Europe.
From 4 to 5 December, Gardaí searched total of 22 premises, which included apartments, flats and houses at locations in Letterkenny, Dundalk, Clonmel, Waterford, Cavan, Mullingar, Limerick, Ballina, Ennis, Newbridge and Cork along with 11 locations in the Dublin area. More than 60 Gardaí officers were involved including members of Organised Crime Unit, local detective units and uniformed Gardaí.
The purpose of this search operation was to gather evidence in order to advance the investigation. Evidence of suspected prostitution activity was detected at a number these locations. During the searches police seized documentation, mobile phones, computers and money. A number of women present at these locations were interviewed and have been offered support and advice.
As part of the investigation a male aged in his 30s was arrested during the search of an apartment. He was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Ballymun Garda Station. The male was released without charge pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions.