Video: Raids on suspected Leeds brothels

The 75-year-old owner of two suspected brothels was arrested along with a string of women and men when police swooped on 'luxury' premises in Leeds.

The plush 'saunas', one near the shopping heart of the city centre and a second in Harehills, were found to contain expensively fitted-out bedrooms, jacuzzi, sauna and steam facilities.

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The operation was part of a week-long series of police raids across Leeds under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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As dusk fell, teams of male and female police armed with search warrants, moved in on the two sites operating under the name "Girltalk".

At the Harehills premises – formed from two shops at the end of a terrace on Bayswater Road – a red neon signed announced it was open for business.

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Inside, police found four girls and five bedrooms fitted with double beds and mirror, sauna cabins, a large communal jacuzzi and steam room.

Also provided was a locker room for customers, a kitchen and make-up and hair preparation room.

It appeared the entertaining facilities were in the process of being extended.

The exterior of both former shop windows had been boarded off and a side porch guarded by a metal security gate.

Closed-circuit TV cameras relayed pictures of the outside of the building to the reception area inside.

The four girls and a man found on the premises were arrested and another man found at the address was interviewed by police but was not arrested.

At the other suspected brothel in Kirkgate a similar set-up was discovered and another four girls and three men found at the address were interviewed by police.

During the police operation two other addresses were raided by separate teams.

One of these was the home in Shakespeare Approach, Burmantofts, Leeds, of a 75-year-old man who is the owner of both the Harehills and Kirkgate businesses.

He was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the operation of a brothel.

About 12,500 found at the address was seized by officers.

A fourth raiding party swooped on a vehicle recovery yard in Brander Drive, Gipton, where two caravans and other areas were given a detailed search in the hunt for documentation relating to the operation of the suspected brothels.

One local resident who asked if the Harehills premises were being shutdown, said she welcomed such a move as customers came and went at all hours of the night, parking indiscriminately and leaving noisly.

Later, a police spokesman said that a 75-year-old man had been charged with concealing criminal proceeds and two counts of managing a brothel.

Four women and a man arrested from the Bayswater Road premises had been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the operation of a brothel.

Another man found at the address was helping with police inquiries.

Four women detained at the Kirkgate address had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the running of a brothel and three men were helping with police inquiries.

Det Chief Insp Andy Williams, who is leading the district-wide crackdown on criminals' cash, said: "As this week's operations are clearly illustrating, our work around the Proceeds of Crime Act is not just about drug dealers. This legislation is being brought to bear to target a range of different crimes."

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