José Moreno, a businessman from Gerona who is accused of people trafficking, opened the largest brothel in Europe last night. The brothel called ‘Paradise’ covers an area of 2,700 metres and has 80 rooms. It is located in an industrial unit on the outskirts of La Jonquera (Gerona).
Moreno denies the accusation of people trafficking saying that he has three premises and would not get involved in something like that. He also says that he has been accused because his name was mentioned in several telephone calls which were being tapped by the police.
However, the police believe that Moreno could be involved in a network of people trafficking and arrested the business man along with 40 other people in September. According to investigators the victims were brought over to Spain from Brazil and forced into prostitution in various flats and premises in Gerona. Moreno is currently facing two charges of people trafficking and another two people detained at the same time are in prison awaiting trial.
Moreno was accused of the same crime back in 2008. Despite this the high court of Catalonia passed a sentence in February which forced the mayor of La Jonquera, Jordi Cabezas (CiU), to Grant a license to Moreno for the opening of ‘Paradise’. Cabezas had previously tried to prevent the construction of the brothel on the grounds of possible problems relating to law and order. However, Moreno appealed to the high court and won the case.
Opening a brothel in Catalonia is not illegal and Catalonia is the only place in Spain where there are a number of regulations demanding working conditions and the minimum sanitary requirements for brothels.
‘Paradise’ is not the only large-scale brothel in the area. However, the opening of this latest establishment planned for the end of the summer had to be postponed due to an arson attack on the premises.
Cabezas has declined to speak further on the matter because he says that he does not want to give any more free publicity to the brothel.
At yesterday’s opening the was a queue of more than 30 people waiting for the doors to open, most from across the border in France where brothels are illegal. Together with the clients there were a number of Spanish and French journalists and television cameras.