A male suspect accused of pimping in a recent brothel investigation in downtown Nicosia says he was only renting single rooms to women and charging them a lodging fee.
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On Tuesday, a Nicosia District Judge ordered a 62-year-old man in custody for six days, after the suspect was detained a day earlier on an arrest warrant on multiple charges related to prostitution, such as pimping, running a brothel, and illegal income. Human trafficking is also suspected in the case according to police.
The male suspect told officers he had been renting single rooms to the women for a lodging fee of €230 each
Investigators say they had obtained statements about an old hostel in downtown Nicosia that was allegedly being used as an illegal brothel. It was understood that undercover cops were involved in the operation that led to Monday’s raid.
Law enforcement agents from various units, including anti-trafficking, raided the establishment in the daytime, arresting the male suspect and taking seven Asian females into protective custody. Police said the women were being treated as possible victims of trafficking but added they would not rule out charges if the females were found later not to be victims.
During the remand hearing, the court heard that the male suspect told officers he had been renting rooms to women at €230 per room.
But police prosecutors allege that the lodging was being used as a brothel, saying customers included “monthly regulars” who paid for sexual services.
Two men aged 81 and 32, who were previously unidentified, were also found on the premises during the raid. According to media sources, raiding officers found the two men in separate rooms lying naked on the bed.
It was not clear what evidence was presented on pimping charges and illegal gains against the male suspect. The court heard that police were still investigating claims made by the suspect regarding paid lodging, while prosecutors pointed out that officers found receipts in several rooms showing sums of money sent abroad.
Prostitution is not illegal in the Republic of Cyprus, while trafficking and pimping, as well as running a brothel, are offences punishable by law.