France opens pimping probe into dating site

2014-04-10 21:14
(via Web)

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Paris - French prosecutors on Thursday opened a probe into a website that brings together older "sugar daddy" men and young women over suspicions of "organised pimping", a judicial source said.

Launched in 2010, www.sugardaddy.fr brings together men "comfortable with their lives" looking for "young attractive and ambitious women" who want to be "pampered".

"Are you looking for a mature and elegant partner to spoil you?" asks the website, which posts messages from women as young as 18 and mostly older men.

Vincent Veyrat-Masson, one of the founders of the Phoenix group that oversees around 30 specialised dating websites including sugardaddy.fr, denied any illegal activities.

"Our editorial line simply naively does the exact opposite than one of our other sites 'Cougar Rencontre' [Meet Cougars] - which targets encounters with mature women - by offering this time to find mature men," he told AFP.

But the Action Team Against Pimping association, which made a legal complaint last week, says that "under the cover of a dating website, the site sugardaddy.fr seems to correspond to an online pimping service".

The complaint automatically triggered a preliminary inquiry. Prosecutors now have to decide whether there is a basis for proceeding to a full-blown probe.

France has recently moved to tighten restrictions on prostitution, with the National Assembly having approved a draft law which will make anyone paying for sex liable for fines starting at €1 500. Pimping and soliciting are outlawed under existing legislation.

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