Living next to a Paphos brothel

By Jill Campbell Mackay
BEFORE Susan Goode (not her real name) bought a property in Paphos, she diligently checked out the area, making sure there was easy access to shops and amenities, that the beach was indeed within easy walking distance, even double checked the 15 houses within her complex were occupied by permanent residents, and not liable to be rented out every summer to screaming hordes of tourists.

She knew all the ins and outs of the purchasing contract, and when she inquired as to the half built block of flats adjacent to her house was told they would be one bedroom residential apartments.

Duly satisfied that all her boxes were ticked she went ahead and paid her money. Six weeks later, she moved from Manchester to her new home in the sun, where everything looked set for a long and happy retirement.

Little did Susan know that her dreams of lazy days spent in her garden, of entertaining friends to supper and inviting family and friends over to stay, were going to disappear the minute the apartment block opposite her villa was completed and the residents arrived.

“The day they moved in, I was surprised to see about 20-25 young girls and no sign of any men with them. They all looked attractive, if somewhat scantily dressed, carrying their suitcases and stereos. I just thought that perhaps this was workers’ accommodation for the hotel trade or something like that.”

Susan was in fact now in the rather unsettling position of living directly opposite a ‘start-up’ brothel, something a male student may have regarded as the height of decadent bohemianism, but not a 54-year-widow with four grandchildren.

That evening, some of the girls were collected by minibus and taken away to various cabarets. Upon their return after midnight, they entertained clients, and it was a full house with the 20 girls satisfying the needs of upwards of 20-40 men until the small hours.

Susan’s front drive way was invariably blocked with cars and, as she explained, it wasn’t just the cars, the noise and the nature of the business being carried out across the road that destroyed her lifestyle, it was the fact that she felt as a single woman totally under siege and helpless to do anything about the situation.

“I mean, this is a residential area, we have families here and they, like me, have all paid a lot of money to buy these properties. When we found out what was going on, some people just moved out and rented out their property, as they couldn’t stand the constant to-ing and fro-ing every night.

“I now go out in the morning to be greeted with the sight of used condoms littering the pavement, and have regularly walked on hypodermic needles that have been thrown over my wall. Entertaining friends is out of the question as from about 11am it’s a case of a strict dress code for the girls of g-strings, sequin pelmets, and ample displays of flesh, as they sit on the balconies sipping coffee, not exactly a view one appreciates every morning. And I have to say this, if I ever thought these young girls were being exploited as sex slaves or whatever, I would naturally be as concerned as the next person but, to be honest I hear them all day and although they speak other languages they are laughing, joking, talking on their mobiles and generally seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. They seem to know exactly what the score is and by the looks of it wholeheartedly relish the work they do.

“Mind you, they must be focused on the money, if the men I have seen going in there are is anything to go by, some are pretty rough and ready, others are drunk or high or both, but over the week you do see all sorts visiting, from smart businessmen, lawyer/bank types, to older farmers and teenagers.”

Susan then thought (naively, with hindsight) that she’d be public spirited and try and do something to force the business out of the residential area. “I started taking down the registration numbers of hundreds of vehicles over a two-month period and, rather stupidly, sent them to the police with an accompanying letter. That’s when I learnt not to dabble with this sort of Miss Marple activity as a few days later I received a lightly veiled threat from the immigration department, confirming their powers of removal of ‘undesirables’ from the island and stating that I could be taken off the island at a moment’s notice with absolutely no recourse to law.

“I was now really frightened and knew then pursuing a case against this brothel would prove pointless and, ultimately, would be very dangerous for me. I did, however, keep up a small but sustained form of mini-sabotage, just to make myself feel less helpless.

“For example, there was a driver for one of the major tour companies who would arrive three afternoons a week to enjoy the girls’ hospitality. He always parked his 54-seater bus further up our road, effectively blocking our turning spot. This required him when leaving to reverse round past my front gate. It was just before Christmas (that’s when there is a really brisk trade and also at Easter) and while he was in the brothel, some male friends of mine dug a large hole some metres away from his back wheel. He came out after one hour and duly reversed back, sank into the hole which, because of the wet weather was also very muddy, and his wheels really stuck.

“All of us were in the front room looking out and it was so satisfying seeing him trying to get out of this particular hole. After a while, he had to call a tow truck to rescue him.

“Another ploy I used was when some men drove up dashed into the brothel, leaving their car out front with the keys in the ignition. This would happen a lot, so I would then quietly get in their car and drive it away, dump it, then walk back to my house. Mind you, I did feel a bit of a criminal doing that, but you do go crazy living like this, and end up doing things you wouldn’t normally dream of doing. Anyway it’s just so immensely gratifying when they come out and think their car has been stolen, and they have to then say where it was actually taken from.”

Did she ever get any response to the police other than the threat from immigration? “The place was raided by police from Nicosia and things went quiet for a few weeks, but then they started up again.”

Susan eventually moved out and rented a property elsewhere but then had to come back for financial reasons. “I had bought this as my home and really liked the house. Now I just have to live with the situation, as do my neighbours; you cannot fight this sort of thing as it’s too bound up with money.

“I have become pretty philosophical about it all now, but it’s terrible really, the constant coming and going of cars, never knowing who is outside your gate but always knowing why they are there and being fearful all the time. It’s dreadful, that’s why I am always trying to be out with friends rather than staying indoors, as it really is invasive. I went to immigration once with a friend and I spotted a man I see almost every day coming in and out of the apartment block, he was there holding a sheaf of foreign passports in his hand laughing and joking with immigration officers as if he owned the place. I assume he is the girls’ pimp and that’s just the way it is here, sex is a commodity and from my experience it seems that there is no slowing down in demand for it. In fact here it seems you can buy a woman as easy as picking up a MacDonald’s.”

Facts and figures

l The number of people offering sexual services in Britain has increased by a staggering 50 per cent in the past 5 years.

Figures from the European Parliament quote over 100,000 women working as full time prostitutes in the UK.

l In London alone the study showed that men spend £200 million a year on sex, half in massage parlours and saunas, with street prostitution accounting for only 5 per cent. Eight out of 10 women working these establishments in the capital are now from Eastern Europe or the Balkans.

l Across the UK, the sex industry is worth in the region of £770 million annually. Criminal gangs are now into sex where rewards are high and risks almost zero. A large London based brothel will turn over on average one million pounds a month.

l One of the smallest brothels was closed down in 2004 after an undercover operation cracked a vice ring in North Yorkshire.

The brothel was operated out of a battered old caravan parked in a layby off the A1 near the village of Thirsk. The true nature of the business was only discovered by accident, after planning officers issued a notice for the caravan’s removal under the local byways law which did not permit caravans to be on that site. The caravan was owned by a former double glazing salesman, who was also found to have three other very active caravan brothels dotted over the north Yorkshire area.

l Daulatdia, a village in Bangladesh, boasts one of the largest brothels in the world: 1,600 women service 3,000 men every day. The women have sex with an average of 30 clients every five days.

l Heidi Fleiss, the former Hollywood madam, is opening the ‘Rooster Ranch’ a brothel catering to women in Nevada. To be called ‘Heidi’s stud farm’, she is looking to ‘interview’ 20 men to service the all female customer base. Ms Fleiss used to run a sophisticated prostitution ring with girls charging clients up to $12,000 a night. Women using the Stud Farm services will have to pay around $300 an hour for the pleasure.

l Nevada is the only state in the USA where brothels are legal; it’s a state where prostitution has been considered a necessary service industry since the days when the area was mainly populated by prospectors. They do, however, place the brothels out of sight of the locals and never within residential areas.

l Spain’s brothel owners claim that prostitution and its spin offs are now an €18 billion business sector – equivalent to half of the country’s entire education budget.

l Among the UN list of countries most targeted for victims into prostitution are Albania, Belarus, China, Moldova, Russia, and Thailand. However, the UN warns that the fight against trafficking is being hampered by a lack of accurate data and because many countries are still in denial about it.

l Demand obviously meets supply in Paphos, which currently boasts around 26 cabarets, each employing an average of nine foreign born working girls there on a minimum three month contract.

l In the UK, there is a published ‘guide book’ titled McCoys Guide to Adult Services. It boasts a ‘Time Out’ approach to those wishing to find the best value for money sex services. These include 448 listings for massage parlours, 38 escort services, 144 private flats and house brothels, lists of 341 ‘working ladies and their specialties’, erotic party venues, where to go for the best Dominatrices, working couples and working twosomes. The author also runs a website and phone line with his personal pick of the month’s top ten massage parlours.


Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008


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