Men and woman remanded into custody charged with brothel keeping

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Two men and a woman have been remanded into custody charged with brothel keeping as part of a police investigation into suspected INLA activities.

Brian Gillan, 60, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court along with Romanian nationals Florin Ghita, 32, and Teodora-Christina Musa, 22, following the Paramilitary Crime Task Force operation.

They were arrested on Friday during a series of raids on properties across the city and at other locations in Lisburn, Crumlin and Newtownabbey.

All three defendants are accused of keeping or assisting in the management of a brothel between October 1, 2017 and April 13, 2018.

Gillan, of Lurgan Road in Glenavy, is also charged with possessing criminal property and blackmail.

Musa, from Agincourt Avenue in Belfast, faces a further count of controlling the activities of three named prostitutes for gain.

Ghita, of the same address, is also charged with transferring criminal property, namely £1,000 in cash.

More than 200 PSNI officers took part in last week’s operation, supported by the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.

During Monday’s brief court hearings a detective sergeant with the Paramilitary Crime Task Force said he could connect all three defendants to the charges against them.

Defence lawyers put no questions to the officer and confirmed they were not seeking bail at this stage.

All three were then remanded into custody to appear again by video-link in two weeks, when they may apply to be released.

Before Gillan was led down to the cells his lawyer told the court: “During the course of 14 interviews at the Serious Crime Suite he continued to deny any involvement.”