Belfast Telegraph

Holidaymaker 'forced into prostitution' after arriving in Belfast airport, court hears

Taiwanese holidaymaker claims taxi man tore up her return ticket and took her to a brothel

By Alan Erwin

A Taiwanese holidaymaker was allegedly forced in prostitution after arriving in Belfast for a guided tour of Ireland, the High Court heard today.

She claims a taxi driver who picked her up at the City Airport ripped up her return flight ticket and took her to work at a brothel in the Republic, prosecutors said.

Details emerged as Dublin-based Chee Seng Chan was granted bail on a charge of trafficking the woman in May this year.

The 51-year-old Malaysian national was arrested last month as he collected another two Asian females from the same airport.

Chan, of Greenlawn in Dublin, is accused of arranging and facilitating travel into the UK for sexual exploitation.

His alleged victim said she flew to Belfast after seeing an advert in the Taiwanese press for guided tours around Ireland, the court heard.

She told of being picked up in a taxi after immigration officials at the airport phoned a contact number she provided.

Stephanie Boyd, prosecuting, alleged: "The tour guide took her passport and return ticket and tore it up."

The woman, who had booked into a south Belfast hotel, was instead taken to a flat in Waterford, told to have sex with customers and report to a "boss lady", it was claimed.

Varying accounts were given about payment, with the woman saying she got a 50% cut and then claiming to have received no money.

According to her account she escaped from the flat and boarded a bus back to Belfast four days later, allegedly while Chan was out at a shop.

Police were alerted when she arrived back at the airport in a distressed state on May 15.

Gardai searches of the vacant Waterford address confirmed it had been used as a brothel, the court heard.

With the alleged victim now back in Taiwan, Interpol have been contacted in a bid to secure a formal statement from her.

Chan was detained on September 21 after two more Taiwanese women arriving at Belfast City Airport said they were to be collected by a Dublin taxi driver.

A vehicle registration he had provided them matched the car allegedly used in the earlier incident.

During police interviews he confirmed being a taxi driver who also showed tourists around.

"He was unable to name any of the major hotels or clarify the cost for his tour guide service," Mrs Boyd said.

"He confirmed he only picked up females of Asian origin."

The barrister said police have established Chan's address is legitimate and were not opposing bail due to the anticipated lengthy investigation.

Granting the application, Mrs Justice Keegan ordered the defendant to provide a £2,000 cash surety.

Banning him from collecting any fares at the City Airport, she also directed: "He will not operate as a tour guide in Northern Ireland."

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