Sugarbook founder rearrested for rape, prostitution cases

Photo used for illustration purposes only

SHAH ALAM – The founder of Sugarbook application has been rearrested by police to assist investigation in a rape and a prostitution case today.

Selangor CID chief, Datuk Fadzil Ahmat said the detention of the 34-year-old man was carried out following a police report by an institution of higher learning student in 2019.

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He said the incident took place in Subang Jaya on February 19 2019.

“The suspect was held to facilitate investigation under Section 376 and 372 of the Penal Code following a police report made by the female student,” he said in a statement here today.

This morning the man was released after a remand application was rejected by High Court deputy registrar Noorasyikin Sahat after pledging to cooperate with police over the application.

Fadzil said Selangor prosecution director had applied for a review of the decision.

“The application will be heard before a Criminal High Court Judge in Shah Alam at 9 am tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier the media reported that a local entrepreneur from Minden, Gelugor, Penang was detained at 4.30 pm at a condominium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He was investigated under Section 505 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Website blocked

The Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had blocked access to the website of online dating service Sugarbook on Monday Feb 15, less than a day after it said it was investigating the platform.

This came after a press release from the service regarding its membership drew renewed scrutiny.

The service’s website has been found to be inaccessible through some Internet service providers, while other providers would instead display the standard MCMC notification that states: “This website is not available in Malaysia as it violate(s) the national law(s)”.

Its phone application, meanwhile, can still be downloaded from app stores, a local news site reported.

Last week, Sugarbook issued a press release claiming that it has seen an increase in university students signing up as “sugar babies” since January, and ranked the “top 10 sugar baby universities” in Malaysia.

The Higher Education Ministry described Sugarbook’s claims as improbable and vowed to tackle the issue.

MCMC, meanwhile, issued a statement that it was investigating Sugarbook and would take action against both the platform and its users if they were found to violate the law.

The police would also take action if elements of prostitution were involved, it added.

Sugarbook had previously attracted controversy in 2019 after its electronic billboard advertisement was displayed in Kuala Lumpur.

This had prompted the removal of the advertisement and calls for the service to be shut down, but the public outcry soon died out with the service still readily accessible.