May 15,2007 00:00
MOSCOW - An Israeli man was among three people taken into custody by Russian security agents Tuesday in Moscow on suspicion of selling women into prostitution.
Speaking to reporters, an unidentified security official said Israeli law enforcement had assisted in breaking up the human trafficking ring and confirmed newly arrested Avi Yanai had two previous convictions for human trafficking and fraud in Israel, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.
The other two men were citizens of former Soviet republics and were not identified, as the investigation is ongoing, the official said.
Earlier this month agents arrested seven men for alleged involvement in the ring, which lured women to non-existent jobs in eight Russian cities. The women then paid between $4,000 and $6,000 for travel documents and were shipped to work as prostitutes in Eastern Europe.
Military prosecutors are handling the case, as one of the men arrested was a lieutenant colonel in the armed forces, Itar-Tass said.
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