An Israeli father and daughter were arrested for plotting to bring Ukrainian women to Israel in order to pimp them out as prostitutes, the Israel Police Spokesperson's Office said Monday.
The arrest was the culmination of a 4-month investigation by the police's Lahav 433 investigative division which focused on people bringing Ukrainian women to Israel to exploit them and make them work as prostitutes.
The father and daughter criminal duo supposedly reached out to these women through Telegram and gave them instructions on how to enter Israel without being caught by border control.
The father and daughter, age 41 from Tel Aviv and 22 from Haifa respectively, were taken in for questioning and had their detention in police custody extended by eight days following a court hearing.
Human Trafficking in Israel
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked the most recent form of sex trafficking in Israel.
According to Naama Sabato of Lo Omdot Me’negged (Not Standing By Idly, which assists women in the cycle of prostitution), Men meet and invite vulnerable women, using platforms like Instagram and Telegram. There are even Israeli advertisements circling throughout Instagram calling for “beautiful women” to “work in Israel and make a lot of money” or “make money from home.”
“The big issue is when you don’t have a right to stay. The owner is the one who can help you and also hurt you. He controls you totally. You can’t get help because you are not legal, and then you are afraid.”Naama Sabato
“The big issue is when you don’t have a right to stay. The owner is the one who can help you and also hurt you. He controls you totally. You can’t get help because you are not legal, and then you are afraid,” Sabato explains.
Israel is currently ranked at level two out of three tiers for human trafficking in the US State Department’s 2022 TIP (trafficking in persons) Report. The report states that Israel does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so by operating shelters and providing victims a wide variety of immediate and long-term care and rehabilitative services. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards and has not done enough to investigate and hold labor traffickers criminally accountable.
Shanna Fuld contributed to this report.