21 August 2007

Lebanese pimp busted for high roller prostitution ring in Cannes

Dozens of young women, including former models and beauty contestants, and their wealthy middle eastern clients were briefly held after a series of police raids on flats and hotels on the Cannes waterfront.

Sixteen alleged ringleaders, including a 43 years old, Italian-based Lebanese model agency boss, have been placed in custody.

Amongst the hotels raided was the Carlton, one of the most select hotels in the world, used by movie stars and film executives during the Cannes film festival each May.

The raids were conducted by officers from the Paris-based Office Central pour la Repression de la Traite des Etres Humains - literally the office for the repression of slavery.

This is an arm of the Police Nationale which deals with elaborate and international prostitution rings.

Police sources said that they believed that the Lebanese model agency boss has been operating a high class prostitution business on the Cote d'Azur since the early summer.

Former beauty contestants and models from the United States, Latin America, Europe and Lebanon had been tempted, or tricked, into selling themselves to wealthy clients from the Middle East.

Meetings were arranged in luxury hotel rooms or aboard yachts moored offshore.

A night spent with one or more young women could cost up to 30,000 Euros ($40,000), a police source told the newspaper, Le Parisien.

Dozens of young women and their clients were arrested in a series of raids on Thursday. All were later released.

Prostitution is not illegal in France.

Pimping, or "proxenetisme", is.

Sixteen suspected organizers of the ring, mostly arrested in flats in Cannes, have been placed under arrest.

They face possible charges of conspiracy to organize a prostitution network.

Police said they had uncovered the ring through telephone taps.

They believe that the Lebanese model agency boss, named only as Elias N., had approached "retired" models and beauty contestants from as far afield as Venezuela and the United States.

They were flown to France and installed in four star hotels on the Cannes waterfront where rooms and suites cost up to 1,000 Euros a night.

The clients of the network were said by Le Parisien to include Middle eastern businessmen and aristocrats.-(yalibnan)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just watching Jaras TV.... his wife came up and said that he's innocent and his works are only style events.
Then she gave some examples of artists he arrange for private parties.... one of the examples she gave as artist was Carmen Electra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
what'da ****k.... does anyone know who Carmen is?
inno khirrijet aflem ya3neh! shufi aktar min hek....

But of course this doesn't mean anything.... but i wish she didn't show up and didn't say anything!

Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.