Sex workers flock to Euro 2016 and target Irish
Published 21/06/2016 | 02:30
Irish fans partying in French cities during Euro 2016 have been met by an army of sex workers brought from Eastern Europe and Africa for the month-long football tournament.
Football fans attending the 24-nation spectacular have witnessed spiralling numbers of sex workers, particularly in cities that are hosting the wealthier northern-European nations.
Fans have reported being propositioned near popular nightlife areas by women who have been forced to travel to France by criminal gangs determined to cash in on the tournament.
Known sex-trade areas in Paris, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Lyon and Lille have recorded a large influx of women brought to France by criminal gangs for Euro 2016.
However, fanzone areas have also been targeted by the gangs, who are determined to cash in on the concentration of young, hard-drinking and big-spending fans.
In Paris, Irish fans partied in Montmartre, the historic artist area of Paris, as Ireland awaited the opening clash with Sweden at the Stade de France. But Montmartre is located beside Pigalle, an area infamous for its red-light district and sex industry.
In Bordeaux, areas around busy pubs and the Garonne quays have also witnessed high-profile activity by prostitutes.
Many were specially flown to France for Euro 2016 from African countries including Senegal, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Congo and Rwanda.
Eastern European sex trade workers have largely focused on areas where fans from Russia and Ukraine have been based.
While the influx has seen the undercutting of prices offered by French sex trade workers, Irish fans have been warned to be exceptionally careful.
Fans from other countries have reported a series of thefts following dealings with sex workers, ranging from passports to wallets and mobile phones.
Aside from health concerns, fans have also been warned of blackmail attempts by some sex trade workers, who have been ordered by pimps to secretly take photos and videos of their clients.
Once the individual has been identified, the information is then sold on to criminal gangs which specialise in blackmail and extortion.
Fees charged by sex trade workers operating around Euro 2016 venues can vary from as little as €50 right up to €1,000.