Sex industry in Ireland ‘booming and making millions’ for thugs trafficking women
Exclusive: Det Supt Derek Maguire said the sex industry is booming despite the pandemic, making millions of euros for thugs each year
The head of the new Garda vice unit has vowed to target ruthless organised crime gangs who are trafficking women into Ireland for prostitution.
Det Supt Derek Maguire said the sex industry is booming despite the pandemic, making millions of euros for thugs each year.
The top cop, who is head of the newly established Organised Prostitution Investigation Unit, vowed to take down the ruthless gangs behind the rackets.
He said his highly trained team, based in Harcourt Street in Dublin, also want to reach out and help those who have been brought to Ireland for sexual exploitation.
Supt Maguire said: “Traditional street prostitution has effectively faded away, it’s gone behind closed doors.
“It’s being controlled and run in many respects by organised crime gangs.
“We don’t see many Irish organised crime gangs; they are mostly foreign nationals.”
He added: “It is predominantly women from Eastern Europe, Africa and South America, there’s a lot from there at the moment.
“Most people who are trafficked are coerced into the situation with the promise of employment and it’s a phenomenon in Europe, the lover boy thing, where they think they are in a relationship with someone and that person is actually a trafficker.”
He added: “World-wide, human trafficking is probably only second behind the drug trade for making money.
“It’s a billion-dollar industry so people are making a lot of money out of it.”
Meanwhile, a charity which helps women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking, welcomed the unit.
Ruhama CEO Barbara Condon said the establishment of the unit shows gardai are taking the problem seriously.
She added: “We know from our experience with service users that the world of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation is deeply linked with organised crime and that the investigation of cases associated with these crimes are often complex to pursue.”