Prague, Czech Republic - The Czech government plans to legalise prostitution as part of an ongoing struggle against organised crime, an official said on Monday.

"There were similar efforts to do this in the past, but the plan is back on the table," government spokesperson Lucie Orgonikova said.

According to a report in the Monday edition of the Mlada Fronta Dnes daily, the plan aims to register prostitutes, enforce health control and taxation.

Those who refuse to register will be prosecuted and face fines.

"We will probably never eliminate prostitution from the streets, but the point is to regulate it because it is often linked to organised crime," the paper quoted Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan as saying.

Soliciting sex would be banned near schools, playgrounds, churches and cemeteries, the paper said.

Illegal prostitution is rampant in the Czech Republic, especially in Prague, the capital, as well as in regions bordering with Germany.

The number of prostitutes in the Czech Republic is estimated at 25 000, the paper said, quoting police figures. - Sapa-AP