Romanian pair to stand trial on prostitution charges

Court

Court

Two Romanian nationals are to stand trial later this year accused of controlling prostitution in Northern Ireland, a court has heard.

In the dock at Belfast Crown Court for an arraignment hearing were Ionut Ilie and Ancuta Schwarz.

Ilie, 34, whose address was given as 11 BL 8SCA, Bucharest, denied two counts of controlling prostitution, one charge of trafficking a female out of the United Kingdom and a charge of conspiracy to remove criminal property out of Northern Ireland to Romania.

The offences were alleged to have been committed on dates between March 1, 2011 and April 30, 2013.

Schwarz, 30, pleaded not guilty to the four charges levelled against her co-accused.

She further denied a fifth offence of removing criminal property from Northern Ireland to Romania by money transfer, namely £4,178 in cash.

Her barrister Michael Boyd said there was “a voluminous amount of material’’ in the case and asked for two weeks to prepare a defence statement.

Barrister Denis Boyd for her co-accused Ilie told the court that the trial was expected to last three weeks.

Ordering the pair to be returned to custody, Judge Gordon Kerr QC set trial date for September 6.