Sixteen people have gone on trial in southern Kazakhstan in a high-profile case related to human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
A court in the city of Shymkent officially began considering the case on May 27.
The defendants are facing charges including creating and participating in a transnational criminal organization, trafficking people, including minors, and money laundering.
Twelve women are among the accused, who also include citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
A spokesman from the Shymkent court said there were 38 victims in the case, including two minors.
In February, Kazakh authorities said they were investigating alleged members of a criminal group accused of recruiting young women and girls from southern regions of Kazakhstan and sending them to Bahrain for forced prostitution.
The victims were said to be from low-income families.
Trial For 16 Accused Of Human Trafficking Opens In Southern Kazakhstan
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