PDRM Arrests 34-Year-Old Sugarbook Founder Amidst Recent Controversy

The suspect admitted to being the founder of Sugarbook when police detained him.

Cover image via @darrensugarbook (Instagram) & Pinterest

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The police arrested the founder of controversial online dating platform Sugarbook yesterday, 17 February

According to theSundaily, the 34-year-old man was picked up by the police at a plush condominium in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur at 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Selangor police CID chief SAC Datuk Fadzil Ahmat said the suspect admitted to being the founder of Sugarbook.

The police will seek a remand order from the Shah Alam Magistrate Court to detain the man for further investigations, reported Malaysiakini.

The suspect — who hails from Penang — is being investigated under:

- Section 505 of the Penal Code for making, publishing, or circulating statements that conduce to public mischief
- Section 372(1)(d) of the Penal Code for exploiting any person for purposes of prostitution
- Section 372B of the Penal Code for soliciting for purpose of prostitution
- Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities or network service

The heaviest penalty out of the four provisions is a jail term of up to 15 years, whipping, and a fine.

Sugarbook founder Darren Chan.

Image via @darrensugarbook (Instagram)

Prior to his arrest, the Sugarbook founder tweeted that he and his team have "lost the battle" against the Malaysian government

In a tweet published on Tuesday night, 16 February, Darren Chan apologised to his users for not being able to do more for them.

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

"We believe that our Malaysian government knows what's best for the people. So, I want to thank all of you who believed in our mission, and helped build our community to what it is today."

Sugarbook has been embroiled in controversy after it recently published a survey revealing the top 10 local private and public universities with the most sugar babies

The publication led Sunway University to express its disappointment with Sugarbook for "[encouraging] youth to partake in immorality, [normalising] this notion, and [disregarding] the mental health impact this causes".

According to the survey, Sunway University took the top spot for having over 3,000 sugar babies from its campus. INTI International University and Taylor's University ranked second and third respectively, followed by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) at the 10th spot.

The survey has left the government unhappy about the prevalence of the said sugar dating culture in the country and relevant authorities were urged to take action against Sugarbook, reported New Straits Times.

The tagline on the website reads, "Where romance meets finance."

Image via Sugarbook

On the Sugarbook website, it is stated that the company is headquartered in Cyprus, an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Although its operation has ceased in Malaysia, Coconuts KL reported Chan as saying that the company will ensure its services will not be disrupted in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the US.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) banned Sugarbook earlier this week:

Last week, a global survey revealed that Malaysia ranked among the top 10 Asian countries with the most sugar daddies:

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