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10 April 2005 -- Moldovan Interior Ministry spokesman Andrei Slutu said last night that a slave-trade network has been uncovered in Moldova.
He said the network's suspected ringleaders, led by a 70-year-old woman, presented themselves as employees of Moldova's national gymnastics federation and offered help in crossing the border.
Slutu said the suspects, who face up to five years in jail if convicted, earned some 2,500 euros for each person whom they sent abroad.
There are no official estimates on how many people have left Moldova on fake documents, only to be sold into prostitution or slave labor abroad.