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'Habitual prostitution' Father-of-three accused of operating six brothels around Dublin

All but one of the properties was searched under warrant and at the time, prostitution was occurring at each address.

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Judge's hammer on wooden table

Judge's hammer on wooden table

Judge's hammer on wooden table

A father-of-three has been accused of operating six brothels around Dublin, each of which was occupied by sex workers with “habitual prostitution” taking place.

Hani Shoky (44) is alleged to have leased the raided properties, mostly suburban apartments, over the course of two years.

He was granted bail despite garda objections when he appeared in Dublin District Court.

Mr Shoky, an Egyptian asylum seeker with an address at Abbot Court, Cualanor, Dun Laoghaire, is charged with six counts of brothel-keeping and eight of using false supporting documents for lease agreements on the properties.

Dublin District Court heard the offences were alleged to have happened between 2018 and 2020 and the locations of the alleged brothels were: two at Northwood in Santry; two at Beacon South Quarter in Sandyford; one at Smithfield Market and another in Rathmines.

Detective Garda David Kenny of the National Protective Services Bureau told Judge Bryan Smyth the accused made no reply to any of the charges when they were put to him at Store Street Station.

Objecting to bail, he cited the nature and seriousness of the charges and said he believed the accused was a flight risk.

Det Gda Kenny said it was alleged the accused had leased a number of premises for that were used for prostitution over the course of two years and several of them were run simultaneously.

An investigation was carried out and all the properties were occupied by more than one sex worker at any one time with “habitual prostitution occurring”, the court heard.

All but one of the properties was searched under warrant and at the time, prostitution was occurring at each address.

The false documents used in support of the lease agreements included a reference letter from a software company and documents from a bank and Revenue. The accused would not have been able to lease the properties but for these false documents, the garda said.

Gardai had also seized a UK and Portuguese driving licences.

Det Gda Kenny said the charges on conviction could result in significant custodial sentences and he believed the accused, an Egyptian asylum seeker, was a flight risk.

He also believed the accused could attempt to interfere with witnesses if given bail.

Mr Shoky had come to Ireland in 2011 and was married to a Romanian woman. They had one daughter together and the accused had two other children living with their biological mother in the UK, the garda continued.

“I believe he can readily and easily access false documents that could be used to facilitate foreign travel,” Det Gda Kenny said.

In cross-examination, defence solicitor Brian Keenan said the accused, who is presumed innocent, had been in Ireland for nearly 10 years, his daughter was an Irish citizen and had ties to the jurisdiction. He had been granted temporary residency this year which had been automatically renewed after it expired.

Judge Smyth said it seemed to be a serious matter that was likely to go forward to the circuit court.

He granted bail in Mr Shoky’s own bond of €100, with an independent surety of €6,000, half of which is to be in cash.

Under conditions, he is to have no contact directly or indirectly with any witnesses, live at his home address, sign on three times at his local garda station and relinquish all travel documents.

He was remanded on custody with consent to bail to appear in Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

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