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Brothels are rife in South Croydon, says community association chairman

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A SEX den run by Spanish immigrants has been shut down after police received scores of complaints of men visiting "24/7, every 20 or 30 minutes".

Police raided the flats above Emerald Dry Cleaners, in South End, South Croydon, where Spanish women, who have since fled the country, were charging up to £100 an hour at the brothel.

Land Registry documents reveal the flats are owned by businessmen Ramadan Yazgan and Nazim Mulla, who now live in Cyprus, the Advertiser was told.

Police and Croydon Council, which jointly led the investigation, say two flats had been combined to create a den complete with two bedrooms and a reception area.

Documents show that Mr Yazgan applied for planning permission to use the first and second floors as two flats in 2001. However, he could not be contacted before the Advertiser went to press.

Tony Mustafa, who works at the dry cleaners, also owned by Mr Yazgan and Mr Mulla, said the pair are now living in Cyprus and he did not have any contact details for them.

He added: "It was supposed to be a massage place but there was people ... going up and down, all the time, 24/7, every 20 or 30 minutes, trying to get an appointment for whatever."

Two women and a male security guard, all Spanish nationals, were issued with warnings but had fled the country before police arrived to make arrests earlier this month.

A local estate agent, which was letting the flat to a company based in Spain on behalf of the owners, has since sent in builders to make amendments to the properties.

Charlotte Davies, chairman of South Croydon Community Association, welcomed the enforcement action, but said it is just the tip of the iceberg and that brothels are "rife" in and around South End and across South Croydon.

She said: "A huge number of brothels are open in South Croydon, about 20 to 30. With the recession, people who were employed are trying to find other ways of earning money.

"We have been having a real problem with street walkers, walking around in the early hours of the morning, and residents see middle-aged men turning up, drawing large amounts of cash, visiting properties and then leaving."

PC Chris Duffee said: "We started receiving complaints from local businesses and residents at the beginning of the year about this address and having carried out further checks, it was clear the premises were being used as a brothel."

Croydon Council's cabinet member for community safety, Simon Hoar, said: "This is a great example of partnership work protecting the community."

The Advertiser found contact details for at least five different brothels in and around South End after a simple five-minute online search. One brothel, near Barclays bank in Brighton Road, South Croydon, which we contacted pretending to be a customer, said it offered 'lots of women' depending on which day you want to visit, that its all-oriental girls are aged from 20 to 50 and that they charge £100 an hour for a 'full service'. When asked if pimps were involved and if the girls would receive the full amount of money, they said: "We have independent girls so that's not my business and I can't talk about that, sorry darling." Another brothel, found after a quick Google search, said its women were mostly eastern Europeans and that a 'discount' is offered on an hour-long 'session' for £80, 30 minutes being £50. When asked if they knew whether there were many more brothels in South Croydon, the woman added: "I think there is quite a lot of competition. "But I think most people charge £100 so we are quite competitive." The Advertiser ceased accepting advertisements for adult establishments last year, in line with new Met Police guidelines that many brothels are directly linked to people trafficking.

Brothels are rife in South Croydon, says community association chairman


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