French police uncover inter-city prostitution ring

Money seized by police during their raids at the hotels. (French National Police)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The Orléans Regional Intervention Group (GIR) of French police have uncovered a prostitution network and seized nearly €2.8 million in a coordinated raid by just over 100 police officers in hotels in the French cities of Olivet, Orléans, Rennes, Rouen, Dieppe, and Mâcon.

It all started in February 2022, following “a resurgence of prostitution announcements on a website of young women from eastern countries in a hotel in Olivet,” a Tuesday press release from Emmanuelle Bochenek-Puren, chief prosecutor of Orléans, and Eric Corderot, territorial director of the judicial police of Orleans, said.

According to news portal La République du Centre, the hotel in question is the Première Classe in Olivet.

The GIR and the Territorial Directorate of the Orléans Judicial Police initiated a preliminary investigation under the direction of the Orléans prosecutor’s office.

A hidden double accounting system

“The investigations made it possible to establish that the owner of the hotel had set up a secret double system of accounting and the rental of rooms to profit from prostitutes,” the press release read.

“The latter, systematically associated with a second individual, owned hotels in several cities — notably in Orléans (where several establishments were targeted, according to our information), Rennes, Rouen, Dieppe and Mâcon — all of which operated identically to the hotel in Olivet.

The investigation so far also found that the hotels were maintained and operated by labor without work permits.

“The investigations continued from Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 within the framework of an open judicial investigation into the heads of the fraud under the suspicion of organized crime, clandestine employment, abuse of company property, theft in an organized gang, aggravated soliciting committed in an organized gang, aggravated money laundering, employment in an organized gang of a foreigner without a work permit, and assistance with entry or residence of a foreigner in an irregular situation.”

Eight people have been charged

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, as part of a vast coordinated operation, more than 100 police officers from the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and the Central Directorate of the Border Police carried out “14 arrests in different parts of the country, particularly in the Paris region and Rouen.”

Seven hotel establishments were raided and the searches carried out led to the seizure of €373,692 in banknotes and €2,419,943 seized from the bank accounts of those involved. Of the 14 people arrested, 8 were presented to the judicial authorities to be indicted. Five of them were placed in pre-trial detention in accordance with the requisitions of the public prosecutor.

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