US warns agents not to consort with prostitutes

WASHINGTON DC, USA – The head of the US Justice Department on Friday, April 10 warned the agency's employees – including FBI and DEA agents – not to solicit prostitutes.

The stern memo comes on the heels of a scandal in which federal agents admitted to attending orgies put on by Latin American cartels.

And it said government staff should not hire sex workers even if deployed in countries or regions where such behavior is legal or tolerated.

Attorney General Eric Holder said paying prostitutes "threatens the core mission" of the department, because it can lead to extortion and blackmail and can support human trafficking.

Even where the sex trade is legal, Justice Department staff are "prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex," Holder wrote, in a memo dated Friday.

The memo was addressed to the Justice Department's more than 100,000 employees, including those at the FBI and numerous other law enforcement bodies that frequently work alongside foreign governments.

Last month, the department issued a report that found US Drug Enforcement Administration agents attended "sex parties" with prostitutes paid for by local drug cartels.

The DEA is a federal law enforcement agency under the Justice Department.

The report was part of a wider investigation prompted by a scandal in which US Secret Service agents hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia in advance of a visit by President Barack Obama.

Justice Department employees who violate the ban on soliciting prostitutes are subject to "suspension or termination," Holder wrote. – Rappler.com