Russian spy, 10 accomplices jailed for sex trafficking
A Moscow court jailed a Russian military intelligence officer and ten Russian, Moldovan and Israeli accomplices for up to 19 years on Monday for trafficking women from former Soviet republics.
"Eleven members of an international crime syndicate were convicted by a military tribunal in Moscow, an unprecedented judgment in the history of Russia" since the fall of the Soviet Union, Vitali Danilov, who led the probe, told journalists.
Military intelligence officer Dmitry Strykanov, a military intelligence officer and a key member of the syndicate, was sentenced to 12 years in jail and had his rank withdrawn.
Investigators said the group had sold nearly 130 women from Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Russia into prostitution in Israel, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates between 1999 and 2007.
In the course of a two-year-probe, they also uncovered workshops for the manufacture of false travel documents.
Prostitution is tolerated in Russia but authorities have in recent years beefed up legislation against human trafficking and sexual slavery.
© 2011 AFP