Police arrest 23 in drug raid operations.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
A 25-year-old man was arrested last week on suspicion of exploiting vulnerable teenage girls who escaped from broken homes and state care institutions, and forcing them to become prostitutes at a Tel Aviv apartment, police revealed on Thursday.
Police said the suspect would get the girls hooked on heavy drugs and demand that they work as prostitutes when they could no longer afford their drug use. The suspect allegedly placed ads on social networking Web sites targeting men attracted to the sadomasochistic sex scene, and lured clients with messages offering to let them “become slaves” to teenage prostitutes.
Nine girls targeted by the suspect have so far provided testimony to police, and the suspect has confessed to the suspicions, police said. During a raid on the suspect's apartment, which was allegedly used as a brothel, police recovered chains, masks and other signs of sadomasochistic sexual activities.
He would charge each client several hundred shekels for a session, and divided the cash up among the girls, police said.
Following the arrest, police and social services blamed one another
over why it had taken law enforcement three months to act after first
receiving information on the brothel.
Social services said it
had become aware of the brothel three months ago, after a teenage girl
failed to return to a care center for youths at risk in Jerusalem. The
girl was traced to the suspect's apartment, and contact was established with
her. She communicated her plight to social services, which passed on
the information to Tel Aviv Police in a report containing the brothel’s
address. A subsequent report detailing similar concerns was filed with
police, social services said.
However, police said they had only
received reports about missing teenagers, and had not been alerted to
the presence of a brothel until they launched their own undercover
investigation in recent weeks.