Jerusalem: 10 arrested for holding dozens captive in 'cult'

60-year-old man and 9 women arrested for allegedly holding dozens of women and children captive in slave-like conditions as part of a cult.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

The primary suspect arrested in the raid
The primary suspect arrested in the raid
Police spokesperson

Police raided a compound in Jerusalem Monday morning which is suspected of having been used to house a cult in which dozens of women and children were held against their will.

Ten people were arrested in the raid, including a 60-year-old man who ran the school located on the premises, along with nine female suspects.

Authorities suspect the school, which operated as a separate and tightly knit-community, was in practice a cult which used coercion and abuse to force dozens of women and children to remain there against their will.

The ten suspects arrested in the raid were taken into custody on suspicion of holding victims in slave-like conditions, child abuse, and sexual abuse.

The suspects are slated to be brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court at 1:00 p.m. Monday for an extension of their arrests.

Roughly 50 women and a number of children were held at the compound in crowded and poorly maintained facilities.

Police say the investigation was opened following reports that the school headmaster had used force and various punishments to coerce members to remain a part of the community, compelling them to work while pocketing the money they earned.

This is the second time the institution in question has been probed by police for alleged abuses. Several years ago the compound was raided as part of the first investigation, which was ultimately closed for lack of evidence.

The probe was reopened, however, following additional reports of abuse from women who had fled the compound.




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