“You might say it’s a bit brazen to start a brothel next to the police station,” said Niclas Johansson, a policeman based at the station in Ronna, south of the Swedish capital, to local paper Länstidningen i Södertälje.
The first the police in Ronna knew of the brothel, in which at least one woman was held prisoner as a sex slave, was when colleagues from Stockholm police told them they were watching the apartment, located on an upper floor in the building.
The Ronna officers say they had to keep quiet about what they knew, so as not to disrupt their fellow officers’ investigation.
“We didn’t even try to identify who might be going there, for fear of revealing what we knew,” said Johansson.
Asked by the paper whether it felt strange to know what was going on, he said it did not, knowing that Stockholm police were on the case.
Police believe that the prostitution was carried out in the apartment over a one-month period. They say they have identified two women who sold sex in the apartment above the police station. One of the women, a 24-year-old Romanian, is suspected of being the brothel madam, and is being held by police on suspicion of pimping.
A 38-year-old man from Södertälje is suspected of organizing the prostitution business. A woman in her twenties was forced to sell sex. She has been allowed to return home after having been interviewed by police.
Police say the prostitution business run from the Ronna apartment also operated from mobile homes in a garden in nearby Sollentuna. Overall, seven people have been remanded in custody in connection with the case.
The Ronna apartment is owned by a 27-year-old man who is currently jailed for inciting his dog to bite another man in the crotch. Police say they do not believe he knew about the prostitution.