28 Listopad 2019
Israeli suspects held on suspicion of involvement of involvement in Colombian child sex trafficking ring (Screen grab via Twitter of Colombia’s attorney general)
Fourteen Israelis are suspected by Colombian authorities of running a child sex trafficking ring which marketed tour packages from Israel to the Latin American country aimed at businessmen and recently discharged soldiers, according to reports on Monday.
Eight suspects are in custody, including two Colombian nationals, with international arrest warrants issued for the remaining individuals. One of the Colombians was a police officer who allegedly passed classified information to one of the suspected ringleaders, Mor Zohar, allowing him to run the trafficking network without interference from the authorities.
According to a report by Hadashot, one of the Israelis is also being held on suspicion of murder and others are also suspected of money laundering.
Colombian authorities said Israeli tourists would stay at hotels and take yacht trips and go to drug and alcohol-fueled private parties where women and minors were offered as “sex slaves.”
The children and teens were paid $63-126 for each “meeting” with Israeli tourists, and were forced to join a WhatsApp group called “Purim,” presumably named for the drunken celebrations that take place around the Jewish holiday, the Ynet news site reported.
All of the suspects were wanted by international police agency Interpol on suspicion of pimping and soliciting minors for prostitution.
Authorities raided a number of properties including a spa in Santa Marta, a hostel in Bogota, and a building known as “Casa Medellin.” The suspects were arrested in a number of locations around the country, and property worth around $45,000 was seized as part of the investigation.
The office of the Colombian attorney general posted a tweet with a video of what it said were properties used by the ring.