Britons held over 'Royal sex
SUSAN BELL IN
TWO British men have
been arrested in Paris on suspicion of running a
multi-million-dollar call girl ring that allegedly supplied
prostitutes to princes, film stars and captains of industry.
David Mathew Barrett, 33, and Ramsay Attallah, 38, are
being questioned by French police following a two-year
undercover investigation by the Paris vice squad, which led to
their arrest on 21 March.
The pair are accused of
supplying prostitutes to the jet set, allegedly charging their
rich and often famous clients 1,000 (£670) an hour. They are
also being investigated over allegations of supplying
prostitutes to a member of the Saudi Royal family who
allegedly paid nearly 2 million for three months of loyal
If convicted of "aggravated procuring",
Barrett and Attallah could face up to 20 years in prison.
Ten others have been arrested in connection with the
case, including a French chauffeur, two escort boys, two
Brazilian transvestites and five alleged call girls, including
a former Miss South America and four Brazilians.
Police confirmed to The Scotsman that the two Britons
had been arrested and were being questioned in relation to the
Shortly before their arrest, an exotic
troupe had returned from two months in Dubai, allegedly as
guests of a member of the Saudi Royal family.
According to the popular weekly news magazine VSD, the
Saudi prince, who has not been named, paid 1.9 million for
three months of attention. Some 40 members of the call girl
ring from Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United
States, Venezuela and Brazil allegedly travelled to Dubai at
the end of January and were installed in a royal palace.
The group included several models as well as male
prostitutes and transvestites. Members of the ring were paid
27,600 each, the magazine said, as well as receiving presents
including watches and jewellery from the Saudi royal.
The group returned to Paris via Beirut the day
hostilities broke out in the region, some of them travelling
first class, VSD reported. Upon their return to Paris, the
group took up residence in an elegant block opposite the flat
where Barrett and Attallah lived.
The prostitutes said
they were under constant surveillance and were forbidden from
making telephone calls.
The two men were arrested at
the luxury flat they shared on the wealthy Avenue Marceau in
the well-to-do eighth arrondissement.
Among the items
seized from the flat were lists of names of men and women
complete with medical reports certifying the absence of
sexually transmitted diseases, several thousand euros in cash,
mobile phones, CD-ROMS, airline tickets, photocopies of
passports and a lap-top computer.
Investigators say it
is too early to put a figure on the fortune amassed, but say
they have already found nearly 350,000 in cash stashed in
hotel and bank safes.
Lawyers for the two men say
their clients are innocent. Barrett reportedly told
investigators he had only introduced people and had forced
nobody to have sex.
Alain Fraitag, lawyer for
Attallah, said his client was simply "a friend" of Mr Barrett
and had played no part in the affair.