A mother of two who started running brothels in Dublin after an injury rendered her unable to work has been jailed for 18 months.
Chunjie Wang (35) of Castlewood Ave, Rathmines, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of organising prostitution.
The court heard on Thursday that Wang, a mother of two, organised four brothels in Rathmines, Swords, Blanchardstown and Clondalkin for seven months between January 1st 2011 and July 22nd 2011.
She was arrested after gardaí raided the brothel in Rathmines on July 23rd 2011 following an investigation into a website advertising Chinese escorts.
Detective Garda Karen Ryan told the court over €18,000 in cash was discovered on the premises, along with 19 mobile phones and a number of laptops. The mobile phone numbers corresponded with numbers advertised on the escort website.
Wang was arrested in the Rathmines brothel. She admitted organising the running of the brothels by co-ordinating the provision of sexual services, the length and nature of the services and taking payments.
Four bank accounts were linked to her with a total balance of over €27,000, Det Gda Ryan told the court. Payments of between €3,000 and €5,000 were sent to China every few days.
Defence barrister, David Staunton BL, said his client arrived in Ireland from China to learn English 11 years ago with the “best intentions” of making a better life for herself.
Wang worked for Dunnes Stores for nine years before she injured her back and neck and was no longer able to work. At the time, her husband’s souvenir importation business was doing badly and the family needed money, Mr Staunton said.
“Her motivation was purely financial,” he said. “It was not about controlling or enslaving people.”
Mr Staunton said his client was “extremely embarrassed and ashamed” of her actions and had no previous convictions.
He said she was a devoted mother and her family would suffer significantly if she was imprisoned.
Judge Melanie Greally noted the case did not involve the trafficking or exploitation of prostitutes.
“It doesn’t seem the participants in the provision of services were greatly exploited in terms of the financial arrangements,” she said.
She accepted Wang was remorseful for her actions and would find incarceration particularly difficult as a non-national. “Her family will pay a high price for her actions,” she said.
But Judge Greally said the seriousness of the offence meant a custodial sentence was unavoidable and sentenced Wang to 18 months imprisonment.