Carlow: Family Brothel Pimp Boss Ordered To Stump Up Cash Or Face Another 10 Years In British Jail

15 Mar

Thomas Joseph Carroll Ran brothel network

Thomas Joseph Carroll
Ran brothel network

The head of an organised crime gang who ran an international prostitution ring has been ordered to hand over almost £2 million of criminal profits. 

SOCA was granted a Confiscation Order for £1,902,496 in Cardiff Crown Court against Thomas Carroll from Carlow after His Honour Judge Bidder QC ruled his assets including properties in Wales and South Africa were purchased with the proceeds of crime. 

Carroll is already serving a seven year prison sentence, if he fails to meet the order he will face another 10 years in prison and the assets will include; 

  • Four houses in Wales
  • Three houses in South Africa
  • Four cars including two Mercedes
  • Personal registration number plate 

In passing judgment (11 March 2011) HHJ Bidder QC said “This defendant has shown that he is prepared to squirrel away in properties abroad the proceeds of his prostitution business.  He is a convicted money launderer. He is determined and astute.” 

Thomas Carroll, 49, ran his business from a rented house in Castlemartin in Wales along with his partner Shamiela Clark, 33 and his 27 year old daughter Toma Carroll. One room in the house was a dedicated call centre where they coordinated their clients’ calls. They could receive up to 300 calls in any one day for all their brothels throughout the UK and Ireland. 

Some women, mainly from Europe, were recruited through advertisements on the internet and through publications in the UK. Others from Nigeria were trafficked into the UK believing they were escaping to a better life. They were told they would be educated and become hairdressers or seamstresses. Instead they were subjected to African rituals designed to frighten them into compliance and forced into prostitution. All the money they made was taken back to pay off their ‘debt’ to their traffickers. 

A Confiscation Order was granted against Shamiela Clark at Cardiff Crown Court (2nd September 2010) for £360,000. If she does not pay within six months she will serve a further three years in prison. 

For more information on asset recovery visit our criminal finances pages.


A Carlow man serving a sentence in the UK for controlling prostitution and money laundering has been ordered to pay €2.2m or face another ten years in prison.

 TJ Carroll - Controlled a number of brothels

 TJ Carroll – Controlled a number of brothels

Carlow man sentenced for brothel network

A 49-year-old Carlow man serving a sentence in the UK for controlling prostitution and money laundering has been ordered to pay €2.2m or face another ten years in prison.

TJ Carroll, from Bagenalstown, was jailed in Wales for seven years following an international investigation by the gardaí, the PSNI and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Organisation.

His 26-year-old daughter, Toma, and South African partner, Shamiela Clarke, are also in prison for their part in running the multi-million euro prostitution network, which involved trafficking Nigerian women into Ireland and forcing them to work as prostitutes all over the country.

Carroll has been served at Cardiff Crown Court with a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act for around €2.2m.

He has six months to pay or is liable to another ten years in prison.

Carroll was one of the biggest brothel keepers in Ireland with women working for him in 35 brothels north and south of the border.

He was first questioned by gardaí in 2005. A year later when he was arrested in Galway, he admitted he was making €27,000 a week, over €1m a year from prostitution.

He then fled to Wales to avoid prosecution and continued to run the business from an old vicarage in the small hamlet of Castlemartin.

On 3 December 2008, officers from the Organised Crime Unit, the PSNI and UK police searched homes and brothels in Cavan, Drogheda, Athlone, Mullingar, Sligo, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy, Newbridge, Waterford, Enniskillen and Castlemartin.

Six young women who had been trafficked into the country were also taken to safety.

The women had been enslaved by poverty and voodoo rituals in Nigeria before being forced to work as prostitutes.

They were subjected to violence and moved around Carroll’s network of brothels.

Carroll’s daughter collected the money in Ireland and sent it to her father in Wales.

She transferred over €1.75m to her father’s account over four years. His partner managed the business and was paid €1,000 a week.

An investigation by Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit into two other people who worked for Carroll is complete and a file is due to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Ruhama, which helps women in prostitution, has welcomed the confiscation order but says there are many more prostitution networks like Carroll’s still operating in Ireland.

It has called for more resources for the gardaí to tackle prostitution and sex trafficking.


A notorious Irish brothel keeper has been ordered to pay the equivalent of €2.2 million of criminal profits or face another 10 years in jail.

Thomas Joseph (TJ) Carroll, originally from Bagnelstown, Co Carlow, is already serving seven years in a Welsh jail for a string of offences relating to brothels he kept in both the Republic and the North.

A confiscation order was granted against Carroll (49) at Cardiff Crown Court for the sum of £1,902,496 which was sought by the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

The money is the proceeds from Carroll’s prostitution ring which he ran from a house in Castlemartin, a hamlet in Pembrokeshire.

SOCA secured the order last Friday and revealed today that Carroll’s assets include four houses in Wales, three houses in South Africa, four cars including two Mercedes and a personal registration number plate.

There are other properties in Bulgaria and Mozambique which will now be subject to confiscation proceedings.

Judge Neil Bidder QC described Carroll as “determined and astute” and he noted that Carroll was prepared to “squirrel away” his ill-gotten money by buying property abroad.

Carroll fled to Wales in 2006 as the result of a Garda investigation which found he was operating brothels in the south-east and in Galway.

He set up his operation in an old priory where he and his partner Shamiela Clark, an ex-prostitute, ran a network of nearly 50 brothels in all parts of Ireland. From there they fielded 300 calls a day from men looking for sex services.

Carroll and Clark were arrested in December 2008 in Wales where SOCA officers found 70 mobile telephones all connected to websites advertising prostitution businesses, an address book containing details of rented flats and landlords, rate sheets and a safety deposit box related to properties in Bulgaria, South Africa and the UK as well as approximately €20,000 in cash.

His daughter Toma Carroll was arrested two weeks later and was given a two year sentence for money laundering.

In February last year, her father was given five years for conspiracy to control prostitution and two years for conspiracy to money launder, both sentences to run consecutively. Clark was given two and a half years for conspiracy to control prostitution and one year for conspiracy to money launder, also to run consecutively.

Their trial heard that Carroll recruited women who were economically vulnerable from South America, Portugal and Nigeria. Six of the women were trafficked and forced into prostitution.

Some of the Nigerian women believed they were escaping life in Nigeria to a better life in Ireland. One girl was 15 when she was trafficked, another 17. They were told they were going to be educated or gain employment as a seamstress or hairdresser.

Some of the women who gave evidence at Carroll’s trial were supported by the charity Ruhama which provides support for women involved in prostitution.

Spokeswoman Geraldine Rowley welcomed the confiscation order and said it was important to send out the message that pimping should not pay.

She said Carroll had been involved at the “high end of the scale of exploitation”.

She said the witnesses at Carroll’s trial showed the misery caused by prostitution and she said men who pay for sex should realise they are contributing to a criminal enterprise.

The gardaí’s Organised Crime Unit is investigating two other people who were involved in Carroll’s empire.

  • A pimp’s family business | 08/05/2010
  • Life inside an Irish brothel | 10/05/2010
  • Prostitutes forced to take more risks, says charity | 24/08/2010
  • Carroll case is no exception in Ireland | 10/05/2010
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