Prostitutes forced to live in cellar
Police have discovered a brothel in the Salzburg district of Schallmoos where 15 women were being made to live in a cramped cellar, deprived of sunlight and fresh air.
The Kronen Zeitung paper quoted an internal report from the City Council: "During a routine inspection of a brothel 15 Romanian prostitutes were found living under inhumane conditions in a cellar which had been divided into six rooms.”
Six women were sleeping in one double bed, and four women in one single bed. None of the rooms had any daylight or access to fresh air.
The bedrooms were next to a garage, which also functioned as a makeshift bar. Power cables were hanging from the walls, and there was no fire escape.
The owner of the brothel, at Sterneckstrasse, has been charged with multiple offences and a criminal case has begun.
The city buildings authority immediately banned the use of the cellar as living quarters and the women have been moved to the first floor of the building, where sanitary facilities will be installed.
Prostitution is legal and regulated in Austria and prostitutes are considered to be self-employed, and since 1986 have been required to pay taxes.