Crime scene [illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Seven pimps believed to have forcefully orchestrated a prostitution ring in Tel Aviv using women from Eastern Europe were arrested following an extended undercover investigation, police said Monday.
While details of the case remain under gag order, the arrests and searches were carried out recently by a central unit of the Israel Police, in cooperation with the Immigration Authority, on suspicion of bringing women from abroad to Israel for prostitution and pimping.
“The investigation raises suspicions that this was an organized network that dealt with importing women to Israel for the purpose of prostitution without their knowledge and against their will, while exploiting their distress,” police said in a statement on Monday.
“The suspects are suspected of using violence and threats to force their will on the women.”
The seven unidentified suspects were arraigned Monday afternoon at Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, where a judge is expected to extend their remand amid the ongoing investigation.
In May 2016, the State Prosecutor’s Office announced that it would cease prosecuting brothels as long as they are owned and operated by the women who work in them.
However, little political support exists for further expanding the legal parameters concerning the “oldest profession in the world,” and women’s rights organizations have come out against the plan.