Woman denies being ‘controller’ of vice ring
A Chinese woman has denied charges of controlling prostitution and people trafficking.
Rong Chen (33), with an address at Crestwood Avenue in Kidderminster, England, pleaded not guilty to a total of 10 charges at Belfast Crown Court which also included inciting prostitution for gain and controlling or attempting to control criminal property.
In the dock with her were |39-year-old former policeman Simon Dempsey, of East Street, Newtownards; Fai Chan, of |Donegall Pass, Belfast, and Jason Owen Hinton, with the same |Kidderminister address as Chen. Dempsey faces six charges, while Chan and Hinton face two and, like Chen's, all were allegedly |committed over a year-long |period from January 2008 to |February 2009.
The charges faced by the four arise out of a PSNI-led UK-wide investigation into a Chinese |prostitute ring, which resulted in numerous raids in May 2009 on properties in both Londonderry and Belfast.
Although no details of the case were given to the court, at a previous High Court hearing it was claimed that following the raids six prostitutes, all believed to be Chinese women, were rescued.
The court also heard allegations that the women had all been duped into coming to Northern Ireland after they answered job advertisements in England.
It was said that Rong Chen was allegedly “the controller”, while Dempsey was akin to an enforcer, although it was also claimed that both blamed each other for their involvement.