Pedophile tour operators ordered to prison

May 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM

CHISINAU, Moldova, May 29 (UPI) -- Members of a group that sold pedophiles sex tours to Moldova have been sentenced to prison by a Moldovan court, prosecutors said.

The five ring members convicted included two foreigners and three Moldovans, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday. Their names were not given in the report.

Prosecutors said the operation began with an Italian national who opened a travel agency in Moldova and identified children available for sexual exploitation.

The Italian created a Web site that contained pornographic material and offered sex tours to Moldova.

Tourists from Germany, Sweden, the United States, Denmark, Thailand and Australia paid $627 each for sex with a minor, prosecutors said.

Police cracked the ring after the Italian was arrested trying to rape a 13-year-old boy.

The Italian and a person holding dual Russian and Norwegian citizenship were each sentenced to 21 years in prison. Three Moldovan associates drew prison sentences ranging from 10 to 18 years.

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