Police Bust Russian Prostitute Ring

be de b 2The law on prostitution is ambiguous here in France. A woman can take payment for sex, but no other person is to benefit from it. In other words, pimping is illegal. So is a brothel. So, too, is paying a woman for sex. In other words, a man caught paying a woman for sex is breaking French law. If caught red-handed, he maybe arrested and fined, and should it not be the first time he has been apprehended, he may go to jail.

Just last week when I went to a museum in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne, I saw several prostitutes standing alongside the road that runs through the wood and nearby, behind a tree, was parked a car, a man sitting behind the wheel. When after my visit to the museum I passed the spot again, the car was still there and the man was still sitting behind the wheel. The first time I had passed him, I thought he was a pimp or a potential customer working up the courage to approach one of the prostitutes, but that second time I passed him, was about two hours later, I realised it was a policeman, waiting to swoop should a car drive up.

b de bRecently, the police did swoop. Officers from the section of the vice squad arrested 8 people of both genders, and aged between 23 and 35. They will now be appear at a special court, the JIRS of Paris – Jurisdiction interregionale specialise – which specialises in major organised crime. At the head of this prostitution ring was a 31-year-old.

Here’s how the ring operated: Potential clients booked a prostitute on one of two websites, Amour russe and Charme russe (since shut down, of course). The two sites were based in Israel and on the island of Cyprus. According to the police, daily these two sites had thousands of hits. The ring brought women from Russia and the Ukraine to Paris. They had genuine visas. They stayed in Paris for two months when they flew back to where they had come from. Collected at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport they were taken to one of the ring’s apartments. There were twenty such apartments, all in the capital’s very chic and expensive 7th and 16th arrondissements (districts).

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