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Romanian man remanded in custody accused of human trafficking and controlling prostitution in Belfast

By Alan Erwin

Published 27/01/2016

A man has been remanded in custody today accused of human trafficking and controlling prostitution in Belfast.

Ilie Ionut was extradited from Sweden to Northern Ireland as part of a three-year investigation into a suspected vice racket.

The 33-year-old Romanian national appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court after being detained under a European Arrest Warrant.

He faces four charges, including two counts of controlling prostitution for gain, human trafficking, and removing criminal property from Northern Ireland.

It is alleged that he took out cash in money transfers to Romania.

Ionut, with an address in Bucharest, made no comment during his appearance in the dock.

His solicitor, Conor Heaney, confirmed that a bail application was not being made.

Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty remanded Ionut in custody to appear again by video-link in four weeks time.

A preliminary enquiry hearing is expected to follow soon after that.

He is the second Romanian national to be extradited from Sweden as part of the police probe.

Ancuta Schwarz, a 30-year-old woman from Karowan Strasa in Berlin, was remanded in custody after appearing in court last week on similar charges.

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