Lebanese 'Morality Police Officer' Found Running Prostitution Ring

Published August 30th, 2018 - 10:13 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

Lebanese authorities have reportedly arrested a senior officer in the country's morality police force on suspicion of involvement in a prostitution ring.

The news website of local LBCI TV channel reported the arrest on Tuesday.

"One of the most senior officers in the office of countering immoral crime has been arrested and is being questioned on suspicion of involvement in prostitution networks," the report said.

The Al-Mustaqbal newspaper named the officer as Johnny Haddad and said he would be referred to a disciplinary committee. 

However, Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) later issued a statement claiming the arrest was over corruption, and denying the links to prostitution and human trafficking.

The United Nations estimates that 4,220 sex workers operate in Lebanon, a country of about four million.

Many of those currently working in prostitution are Syrians who have fled the seven-year war.

In 2016, security forces dismantled the country's largest known sex trafficking ring and freed 75 mainly Syrian women in the seaside resort city of Jounieh north of Beirut.

A US State Department report on sex trafficking in Lebanon said Syrian refugee women and children who fled to Lebanon are at an increased risk of being forced into prostitution due to their vulnerable financial situation.

Underage Syrian girls are reportedly brought to Lebanon for the purpose of prostitution, including through the guise of early marriage, according to the report.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright @ 2021 The New Arab.

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