KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police have arrested a man, believed to be the founder of the Sugarbook “compensated dating” service, on suspicion of soliciting for prostitution and abusing network facilities.rrThe 34-year-old suspect, who is from Gelugor, Penang, was detained during "Op Sugarbook" Wednesday (Feb 17) afternoon at about 4.30pm local time.rrSelangor Police Criminal Investigations Department chief Datuk Fadzil Ahmat in a statement said a remand application would be made at the Shah Alam Court on Thursday.rr"The suspect has admitted he was founder of the Sugarbook application during preliminary investigations," he said.rrMr Fadzil said the police would seek a remand order for the executive today for investigations launched under Section 372 (B) of the Penal Code for the solicitation of prostitution and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) for misuse of network facilities.rrOn Monday, the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked access to the Sugarbook website following a police report lodged against it, which facilitated the search for "sugar daddies" and "sugar babies".rrThe MCMC said action would be taken if authorities detected elements of prostitution.rrThe following day, Sugarbook launched an alternative website for its users and provided instructions on how to circumvent the MCMC ban.rrBukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Huzir Mohamed said police had opened an investigation paper on Sugarbook.rrThe media had reported that the pandemic and Movement Control Order has caused more university students in Malaysia to turn to "sugar daddies" for easy money to cover their costs of living and tuition fees.rrSugarbook claimed to have recorded a 40 per cent increase in students registering as "sugar babies" since January, saying it demonstrated the financial difficulties they are facing.rrIt also revealed that some 12,705 students from 10 institutions of higher learning in the Klang Valley, including two public universities, are currently registered with the platform.rrAccording to Sugarbook, the top two categories of "sugar babies" are students and fresh graduates.rrThey are followed by entrepreneurs, nurses, teachers, lawyers, waitresses, personal assistants, make-up artists, freelance models and pharmacists. AGENCIESr
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