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Woman remanded on human-trafficking charge after extradition from Sweden

Published 21/01/2016

Ancuta Schwarz appeared before a judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court
Ancuta Schwarz appeared before a judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court

A 30-year-old woman has been remanded in custody in Northern Ireland accused of human trafficking.

Ancuta Schwarz, whose address was given as Karowan, Strasa, Berlin, appeared before a judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

She is charged with a number of offences including human trafficking for sexual exploitation and aiding and abetting the control of prostitution.

She was detained under a European Arrest Warrant and was extradited from Sweden following a three-year police investigation.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd said: "We do feel that there may be an element of double jeopardy. This lady has served nearly three years in Sweden."

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 2011 and 2013.

Requesting a four-week adjournment, the lawyer said "close comparison" of the facts of cases in Northern Ireland and Sweden would have to be made.

Mr Boyd added: "There is no application for bail at this stage. There is no address available in this jurisdiction."

A Police Service of Northern Ireland detective constable told the court that a male co-accused was expected to be extradited from Sweden next week.

The officer, who cannot be named for security reasons, said: "There is a second defendant in this case. It is a joint case."

Schwarz, who was dressed in a knee-length grey coat with leopard print collar and shoulders, sat impassively in the dock flanked by male and female prison guards for the duration of the brief hearing.

She occasionally ruffled her hands through long dark hair which had been pulled back into a loose ponytail, and glanced around the courtroom.

Granting a four-week adjournment District Judge Greg McCourt said: "You are remanded into custody until February 18."

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