Belfast Telegraph

Man who admitted running a prostitution racket walks free

By John Cassidy

A Czech man who admitted running a prostitution racket in Northern Ireland has been jailed for nine months.

But Josef Elias (52) from Dudley, England, walked free from Belfast Crown Court because of time served on remand.

Earlier this week, Elias pleaded guilty to controlling prostitution between October 2012 and November last year. He also admitted two other charges of possessing and converting money linked to criminality.

The court heard how police investigating prostitution went to an address in Wellington Street, Belfast, in November last year.

They found Elias in his BMW X5 with a female called Romana Berenova. He said he was on holiday, but he was arrested based on information the woman gave.

Phones found in his possession had text messages that "clearly advertised sexual services'', including prices. The court also heard he had paid for the profiles of four women on a website called Escort Ireland.

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