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Police bust human trafficking ring, detain 6

Police uncover a human trafficking ring involving forced begging by hearing- and speech-impaired people from Eastern Europe. Six Israelis are taken in for questioning and 10 people are rescued from an apartment in Netanya and taken to a safe house.

The six are suspected of human trafficking, false imprisonment, forced labor, assault, rape, withholding passports and conspiracy to commit a crime. Among the six are three residents of Netanya, a resident of Ashkelon and another who lives in Rishon Lezion.

The police believe the 10 victims came from Eastern Europe on tourist visas that have since expired. They were allegedly forced to beg for money, with the alleged traffickers using violence, blackmail and threats.

The operators of the ring are also suspected of housing the victims in apartments while illegally holding their passports, performing violent crimes against them and taking a significant part of their money. One of the suspects is accused of sexually assaulting one of the victims.

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