Ukrainian police arrested this week a 41-year-old citizen of Ukraine, suspected of running a prostitution ring, and planning to operate it in Israel. The man in question had posted ads on Telegram offering to hire young women between the ages of 18 to 35 to provide sex services in Israel, exploiting their urgent need to earn a living.
Kyiv's regional prosecutor has announced his intention to charge the man with human trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.
According to Ukrainian police, he helped the women obtain the proper documentation to exit the country and land in Israel, earning him about $1,500 a day.
Police had searched three different locations registered to the suspect, confiscating money, credit cards and checkbooks. Upon his arrest, the suspect was transferred to a temporary holding facility, after which immigration police found a Ukrainian woman that he helped set to fly to Israel at a checkpoint in the city of Lviv.
In May, Israeli state prosecutors filed an indictment against 53-year-old Eyal Baruch and 47-year-old Boris Barkan, both from central Israel, for operating a prostitution ring with Belarussian and Ukrainian women flown in to Israel. Another man, 38-year-old Meir Vicher, had joined them to help operate the network and was subsequently charged with human trafficking as well.
The indictment contains pertinent details about how the suspects met and conspired to bring the women to Israel. They apparently paid agents in Belarus and Ukraine anywhere from $250 to $350 a week for helping recruit them. On his end, Eyal Baruch gave the women exact instructions on how to prepare for border patrol inspection upon arrival in Israel, and Boris Barkan was in charge of finding customers. Within a year, the two of them made $720,000.
The indictment further says the two had promised the women they would not be forced into sexual intercourse unless they chose to, but in practice, they had no choice but to agree to a customer's demands. One woman was forced to take drugs and when she sought medical attention because of it, Baruch refused to help her.
Another woman had complained about being forced to have sex with a customer after she was promised that would never be an issue, only for Baruch to become agitated with her and demand she comply so he could recoup the investment he made to bring her to Israel.