Nine Russian defendants have been on trial in Nice since Wednesday charged with procuring thirty young women for the purposes of prostitution.

The court was told that 20 apartments were rented in Beausoleil and Nice for the purpose, where customers were charged 150 euros for 20 minutes and 250 for an hour. The girls, 30 in all, were allowed to keep half the takings. The operation ran from June 2019, through lockdown, until March 2022, French-language daily Nice Matin reported.

A website advertised services and prices. The ring, which was known as “the firm” by those involved, employed security guards and money collectors. Most of the cash from the 24/7 business was sent to Russia.

When one young woman decided to go independent, she was ambushed at home and left unconscious, with a broken nose, the court heard.

The case is expected to come to a conclusion on Friday, June 23.

FILE PHOTO: The Nice courthouse