• Fri. Jan 14th, 2022

Boom in sex trade as escort agency targets Europe

ByJanice K. Merrill

Sep 13, 2014

The company that operates Ireland’s largest sex worker website has moved its headquarters to Spain and is expanding operations across Europe, the Sunday Independent has learned.

The owners of Escorts Ireland, previously operated by London-based E Designers Ltd to avoid prosecution for profit of prostitution here, now operate a number of similar websites across Europe.

Escorts Ireland chief executive Audrey Campbell, originally from Co Wicklow, confirmed that the company had moved to Spain due to its “more tolerant” attitude towards “adult” companies. Spain is also considered to be more tax efficient than the UK.

Escorts Ireland, which now operates as Lazarus Trading SL, does not disclose which markets it is expanding into, but said it now employs 30 full-time multilingual people in its new headquarters. They also refused to disclose the exact location of his new HQ.

Ms Campbell started the business with her partner Peter McCormick, a former RUC reserve officer who was convicted of brothel dress in Dublin in the 1990s. McCormick’s son, Mark, was jailed for 16 months for dress brothel in 2010.

Speaking about the new expanded operation, Ms Campbell told the Sunday Independent: “The company operates a number of non-English speaking websites outside of the adult entertainment market. Spain offers a number of advantages, including an optimal legal and fiscal framework, and access to a highly qualified and multilingual workforce that will allow the company to reach its full potential, while maintaining the standards and values ​​of social responsibility to which our customers are accustomed.

“Spain is a country that accepts companies with interests in the adult entertainment industry very well and offers an excellent standard of living. Indeed, the current workforce now includes a number of employees. who previously worked for E Designers Ltd in the UK. “

Escorts Ireland’s expansion follows a global trend that has seen the world’s oldest profession move online.

The Economist magazine published an analysis of the international sex trade last month which showed that sex workers are increasingly using the Internet to defy national anti-prostitution laws. Her study showed that “traditional forms of prostitution” such as sex clubs are struggling to survive due to the increase in online operations, especially by freelance sex workers who are increasingly in control. on their operations.

The Economist pointed out that the number of licensed sex clubs in the Netherlands has declined by more than 50% over the past four years, almost entirely due to the growth of online advertisements for female sex workers.

The magazine also mentions Ireland, where advertising of sexual services has been banned since 1994. The article quotes Queen’s University sociologist Dr Graham Ellison as saying the Irish ban “has done next to nothing. … [it] to other jurisdictions “.

In its analysis of the online sex trade, The Economist observed: “Now, specialized websites and applications allow information to flow between buyer and seller, making it easier to reach mutually satisfactory deals. The sex trade is becoming easier to access and safer to work in: prostitutes can warn of abusive clients and perform background and health checks before making a reservation. Personal web pages allow them to advertise and organize online meetings. “

Earlier this month, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she was considering laws that would criminalize the purchase of sex following reports that asylum seekers as young as 18 are working as prostitutes. It is currently illegal in Ireland to work as a prostitute, but not to buy sex.


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