Israeli investigators have busted a ring of travel agency officials they say are suspected of price fixing for school trips to Nazi death camp sites in Poland, police said.
Nine people were arrested, spokeswoman Luba Samri said in Tuesday, from various travel agencies suspected of colluding during a government tender to fix prices to prevent competition for Poland trips. Lawyers for the suspects, six of them agency executives, according to Israeli media, could not be reached for comment or did not respond to requests for comment.
About 30,000 Israeli high-school students go on organized week-long trips to Poland every year, according to the Education Ministry, where they visit old Nazi death camps, remnants of Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust, and other sites.
The Education Ministry sees the trips as a way of preserving the memory of the Holocaust among young generations. They are often cited by those who attend as a powerful, emotional journey providing some idea of the horrors to which victims of Nazi Germany were subjected during World War Two.
However, the ministry has drawn criticism in the past over the cost of the trips. In December it said it had moved to lower the price by nearly a fifth to around 4,500 Shekels ($1,133).