Paris police dismantle Airbnb prostitution ring

Three men have been arrested in Paris for running a prostitution ring in one of the capital’s most upmarket neighbourhoods.

Paris police dismantle Airbnb prostitution ring
File photo of a Paris apartment: robertcrum/Depositphotos

Police placed three men under formal investigation on Friday for their roles in pimping out women for sex work in several apartments.

Some of the apartments were rented out through accommodation-sharing site Airbnb, France Info reported, citing a police source.

The men were arrested in late November after the BRP — the arm of the French police force dedicated to tackling crimes of pimping — arrested another man, who had been a client of the women.

While selling sex is legal, soliciting sex or running a brothel has been illegal in France for decades, and paying for it was criminalized in spring 2016.

The man's arrest led investigators to the three men, aged between 30 and 42, who pimped out women in an apartment in the affluent eighth arrondissement and three Airbnb properties. The key suspect, a 30-year-old, has a previous conviction for procurement.

He took 50 percent of the money the women earned, Le Parisien wrote, allowing him to make €100,000 over the course of three months. Ten sex workers worked in one of the apartments, selling sexual services for between €200 and €300, and one of the women told police she had paid the men €15,000 since the summer.

Police also found illegal drugs when they carried out a search of the apartments.

Clients of sex workers can be fined up to €1,500 for paying for sex, which increases to up to €3,750 for repeat offenders, though the measure introduced last year has been criticized by some of those working in the sex industry.


Parents and child drown after freak wave hits French coast

Two parents and their child died in western France after a powerful wave swept them out to sea as they were fishing on a dyke in Brittany, authorities said on Friday.

Parents and child drown after freak wave hits French coast

The 55-year-old father and 33-year-old mother were pulled out of the water early Thursday evening in the western town of Plogoff in cardiac arrest but rescuers were unable to resuscitate them.

The body of the 12-year-old child was found later in the evening.

Three other children of the family, aged 13 to 15, were not on the dyke and survived the surprise wave but were in shock and being treated by psychological services.

There were strong waves at the time but the weather conditions were not stormy, a spokesperson for maritime officials said.

Witnesses immediately called rescuers who dispatched paramedics and three helicopters to search for the victims, who lived in the nearby town of Audierne.

“There are circumstances that make the coast dangerous around here. I’m warning people, you have to be extremely careful,” Plogoff Mayor Joel Yvenou told the local Telegramme newspaper.

“It’s terrible, the season hasn’t begun yet and there are already victims,” he added.