Human trafficking: Man extradited to UK over Cheltenham 'brothels'

Apartment block Millennium Plaza in Cheltenham Image copyright Google
Image caption Millennium Plaza in Cheltenham, one of two sites where Mark Viner is accused of running a brothel

A man has been extradited to the UK accused of trafficking women from Brazil into the sex trade.

Mark Viner was arrested in Spain after an investigation involving the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and Interpol.

The 61-year-old was remanded in custody at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Friday ahead of a crown court trial.

Mr Viner faces eight charges including trafficking women, running brothels and arranging prostitution.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address at the hearing, which heard he had been accused of trafficking women from Brazil to Gloucestershire.

The court heard the brothel charges were connected to properties at Millennium Plaza and Lansdown Road in Cheltenham.

Mr Viner, who lives in Sitges, near Barcelona, is also accused of one offence of entering into an arrangement to acquire the proceeds of crime, and one of concealing, transferring or removing the proceeds of crime.

In a statement the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROC) said Mr Viner was arrested at his home by Spanish police on 24 October.

It said five other people - four men from Essex, Bracknell and Cheltenham and a woman from Bristol - were arrested but were released under investigation.

There was no bail application and Mr Viner will appear at Bristol Crown Court on 3 January.

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