Internet firm in trouble over Paris rampage
Sun, Nov 15, 2009

PARIS (AFP) - FRENCH authorities planned legal action against an Internet company on Sunday after it organised a cash giveaway in Paris that turned into a security nightmare when thousands of people showed up.

The Rentabiliweb firm was forced to cancel the publicity event advertised on its Mailorama site when a crowd of about 7,000 gathered near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday, several thousand more than expected.

For weeks, the website had invited people to come to the Champs de Mars park where several girls traveling in a double-decker bus were to distribute 5,000 envelopes, each containing between five and 500 euros (S$1,034).

Hundreds of people began arriving as early as 6 am and when police set up metal barriers to try to contain the crowd, scuffles broke out.

At around 11am (6pm Singapore time), just one hour before the cash-carrying bus was to roll out into the streets, the organisers announced that the event was canceled due to security concerns.

'We were a victim of our success,' said event organiser Stephane Boukris, who said the money would instead be donated to charity.





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