Founder of ‘sugar daddy’ dating website arrested for soliciting prostitution

The founder of one of Asia's biggest 'sugar daddy' dating website has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting prostitution.

Darren Chan, 34, from Penang, Malaysia, CEO of Sugarbook.com, was quizzed by Malaysian police yesterday under Section 372 (B) of the Penal Code for the solicitation of prostitution.

He was also questioned over accusations of abusing network facilities after Sugarbook helped members access the site, despite it being blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The site sparked outrage on Monday when it claimed female students at the country's top 10 universities were choosing the 'sugar baby lifestyle' to fund their lifestyles.

Before his arrest, Chan issued a statement on Twitter, apologising to site members.

It read: "You may have heard about the ban on Sugarbook in Malaysia. I’m sorry that we’re not in a position to do more at this time. We have a responsibility to help you with building modern relationships.

"Although we do not have any form of nudity, adult content nor prostitution, we've lost the battle."

Elizabeth Lee, CEO of Sunway University, which topped the chart, said she was disappointed "with a recent article about a company that challenges the moral fabric of our community and of our youth, while aiming to promote and profit from immoral and possibly illegal activity“.

Sugarbook reportedly has more than 400,000 active members, including 220,000 'sugar babies', 180,000 'sugar daddies' and 6,000 'sugar mummies'.

However, a Sugarbook spokesperson said: "Sugarbook.com is only affected in Malaysia. Over time, we would have to invest more in SEO but at this moment, our extensive PR presence online makes up for it."

A study released by dating site Seeking Arrangements last week found Malaysia had the third highest number of sugar daddies (42,500) in Asia , behind Indonesia (60,250) and India (338,000).

Chan's tweet also stated: "We have a responsibility to help you with building modern relationships. We believe that our Malaysian government knows what’s best for the people."

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