A 48-year-old Carlow man has been sentenced in Cardiff Crown Court to seven years in jail for controlling prostitution and money laundering.

Thomas Joseph Carroll, who is originally from Bagenalstown but had been living in a rented house in Castlemartin in Wales, was arrested following an investigation into an international prostitution network.

His South African partner Shamiela Clark, 32, also admitted running the complex and organised business in Ireland and was jailed for three and a half years.

The couple operated more than 35 brothels north and south of the border.

His daughter Toma Carroll, 26, was also imprisoned for two years for her part in laundering the profits, which in one year amounted to more than €1m.

Carroll and his South African partner, Shameila Clark, were arrested in Galway in 2006 and admitted making hundreds of thousands of euro from running brothels all over Ireland.

On 3 December 2008, gardaí, the PSNI and the UK's Serious Organised Crime Squad carried out a series of raids in Britain and Ireland as part of the investigation.

Gardaí searched 19 brothels that day in Cavan, Drogheda, Athlone, Mullingar, Sligo, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy, Newbridge and Waterford - ten people were arrested.

A number of young women who had been trafficked into the country were also taken to safety.

This morning, the prosecution outlined Carroll's links with traffickers, and how young Nigerian women were trafficked into Ireland and forced to work in his brothels.

Among those detained and subsequently charged in Wales were Carroll, his partner and his 26-year-old daughter Toma, who is from Crosneen in Carlow.

The court was told that Toma collected cash from brothels and put over €1,750,000 through her account between 2005 and 2008, which was then transferred to her father's account.

Mr Carroll and Ms Clark pleaded guilty to controlling prostitution and money laundering, while Toma Carroll pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Gerardine Rowley, press officer of Ruhama, the group which works with victims of the sex industry said the case highlights the despicable abuse of women and children in the Irish sex trade.

Ms Rowley said this case is a success for the Gardaí and the other international police forces involved.