Police said they arrested two men Sunday in connection with a human trafficking and sex slavery ring in central Israel.
The suspects, from Holon and Rishon Lezion, allegedly took advantage of a program that allows foreigners to enter Israel for medical treatment, and used its auspices to smuggle in women from Russia and Ukraine, according to Israeli news site Ynet.
Police uncovered the network through an investigation initiated earlier this year when two women aroused suspicion while entering the country for treatment of a skin disease at one of Israel’s leading hospitals.
The investigation revealed that the women were part of a network operated by two men who had contacts in Russia and Ukraine that would help them find women to bring to Israel and split the cost of the plane tickets. In Israel, people would pay NIS 700 per hour for the women’s services; the women and the suspects then split the money evenly.
In a sting operation carried out Sunday, police posed as customers, ordering in three women to a Tel Aviv apartment, where they were detained for deportation processing.
The suspects were arrested at the same time and were scheduled to appear Monday morning in the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court for a remand hearing.