International sex trafficking operation broken open by Israel Police

15 suspects have been the target of an undercover investigation carried out by Israel Police forces over the last few months

 Israel Police. (photo credit: PEXELS)
Israel Police.
(photo credit: PEXELS)

Israel Police on Wednesday raided the homes of 15 people suspected of involvement in an international sex trafficking ring.

The suspects have been the target of an undercover investigation carried out by Lachish District police forces over the last few months along with the Israel Tax Authority and the Southern District Prosecutor’s Office after the suspicion arose that they were involved in the network.

The network uncovered by the investigation would allegedly operate to bring women into Israel from abroad, with a focus on women from the former USSR. Once in Israel, they would be pimped out for sexual services.

According to police, the network was headed by four suspects, men and women between the ages of 30 and 59, who employed other suspects in an organized manner, with positions such as financial management personnel, hotel owners to provide women housing, drivers to bring the women to their “clients,” and employees who would “market” the women and maintain relationships with criminal groups abroad to locate potential victims for their scheme.

As part of the investigation, the Lachish District officers said they uncovered the method by which women would be pimped out to clients. Upon their arrival in Israel, each woman would be professionally photographed, and she would be assigned a nickname and price tag for various services that clients could purchase. From there, her details would be distributed among the customer base through a variety of different platforms.

An international sex trafficking ring targeting women from the former USSR was busted open on Wednesday morning following an undercover investigation by Israel Police. (VIDEO: ISRAEL POLICE)

Trafficking suspects face multiple charges

On Wednesday morning, police and security officials raided the homes of the 15 suspects, all of whom were located in Bat Yam, Ashdod and Rishon Lezion, as well as the hotels operated by the trafficking network in the center of the country.

Over NIS 400,000 in cash and foreign currencies was seized during the raid along with five vehicles that were allegedly used as part of the trafficking operation.

The suspects were arrested and taken in for questioning and are facing charges of human trafficking, drug trafficking and money laundering, among others.

“This is one of the most significant and worthwhile cases that has been conducted in the Lachish District Division in recent years,” said District Commander Doron Aloni, “in light of the fact that these are serious offenses in trafficking human beings in general and women in particular, who were taken advantage of by perpetrators for their personal and financial gain while treating them as goods on the market of providing sexual services.”