Cleared for publication: The Tel Aviv Police recently uncovered a prostitution ring that exploited teenage girls ages 14-16 and has been operating for years.
The case was originally placed under a gag order, which was lifted Monday following the arrest of a key figure in the case, the girls' "sponsor" within the ring.
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Investigators raided the homes of 10 of the ring's regular clients.
The girls' information has been given to Social Service. The department said it will team each girl with a social worker, to assist in their rehabilitation.
The covert investigation was headed by police Maj.-Gen Gadi Eshed. The police arrested a 20-year-old woman who served as the girls' "sponsor" in the ring. According to available details, she would "scout" for potential "candidates" for the ring and would "teach" them what to do.
Over the years, the ring developed a loyal cliental – whose identity is now known to the police. The men range in age from 20 to 60, and none have any previous criminal record.
Police Juvenile Division investigators have been able to locate dozens of girls employed by the prostitution ring. A police source said that while the teens said that they knew what they were doing and had consented to provide sexual services for money, none seemed to be aware of the criminal implication.
The police plan to pursue statutory rape cases against the men, who were aware of the fact that they were having sex with under-age girls.
"This isn't a case involving one or two girls – there are dozens of them. It's
unbelievable," a police source said.
The 10 suspects will be arraigned by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court later on Monday.
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