Belfast Telegraph

Duo ran Belfast brothel, court told

Eastern European women 'forced into prostitution on arrival in Belfast'

A MAN accused of trafficking eastern European women into Northern Ireland to work in the sex trade took up to 80% of their earnings, a court has heard.

At least one of the alleged victims believed they were travelling for modelling work before being put in brothels in Belfast, police claimed. Details emerged as two men appeared on charges connected to a major investigation into a Europe-wide vice ring.

Officers from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch raided properties across the city on Wednesday following a three-month inquiry.

Six women believed to be victims were rescued and four people were arrested.

One of the suspects, 29-year-old Bronislav Rybensky, a Czech national with an address at College Central Apartments, King Street, Belfast, is charged with trafficking into and within the UK, controlling prostitution and brothel keeping.

Also in the dock at Belfast Magistrates Court was 22-year-old Lyle Lamont of Squires Hill Crescent in the city. He is charged with brothel keeping and controlling prostitution.

A detective constable told the court Rybensky is believed to be the main instigator in a crime group which trafficked women from eastern Europe into Northern Ireland through Dublin.

He claimed the females thought that they were coming for modelling work.

But on arrival they were allegedly told they owed money for flights and accommodation and had to repay the debt through prostitution.

The officer claimed Rybensky took between 50%-80% of their earnings from each client.

Photographs of the women were also taken for internet advertising on an escort website, it was alleged.

The court was told clients were charged £100 for a 30-minute session and £160 for an hour.

It was alleged that Rybensky had used a bank account to book up to 70 flights.

Opposing Rybensky's bail application, the officer claimed he could commit further offences or flee the jurisdiction.

Despite Rybensky having a potential bail address at his mother's home in west Belfast, District Judge Fiona Bagnall refused bail.

Rybensky was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link next month.

Lamont was also remanded in custody until next week when he is expected to apply for bail.

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