A sex tourism scandal has erupted in Morocco over a Belgian who allegedly exploited young women and girls – posting their pictures on the internet.
Belgian authorities are calling on their Moroccan counterparts to release 13 girls imprisoned after being found guilty of prostitution.
Brussels says they should be treated as victims rather than criminals.
The Belgian involved, a journalist, even made a CD compilation of his favourite photographs – a disk which was allegedly sold under the name Best of Agadir.
It is reported he made regular trips to Morocco, seducing up to 80 girls, most in their late teens but some as young as 13.
Those who are not behind bars are now said to be on the run.
“They’re young and naive girls and they see a young European man talking to them and they react,” explains Abderhaman Elyazidi from a Moroccan support group. “He promised them mirages of trips to Europe, visas, marriage.”
Belgian justice authorities have launched an investigation while the man concerned remains free.
He has denied accusations of paedophilia and brushed-off claims in Morocco that he sought to denigrate Islam by asking the girls to wear veils in the photographs.