Seventeen people were arrested in Cuba for their alleged link to a trafficking network operating from Russia with the aim of recruiting men to wage war in Ukraine, the Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.
The government explained on Monday that the ministry was working to "neutralize and dismantle a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into the forces military personnel involved in military operations in Ukraine.
On Thursday, the head of the investigation, César Rodriguez, indicated that 17 people had been arrested so far, without giving their nationality.
However, he clarified that one of them is “the internal organizer of these activities”. Two others were identified as recruiters, he added.
For its part, the prosecution said that the judicial authorities are considering charges of "human trafficking, mercenary (and) hostile acts from a foreign state", which can involve incarcerations for 30 years, to life. , or even the death penalty.
The father of two young people recruited by this cell appeared on state television, saying that one of his sons had managed to leave the island in July, while the other is in the hands of authorities in Cuba .
American media reported the case of two 19-year-olds saying they had been recruited via Facebook and deceived by recruiters who offered them work as masons in Ukraine, with the Russian army. Other witnesses claim to have been directly hired by Russia's armed forces.
The Cuban government has denied any complicity with Moscow.
08/09/2023 07:07:28 - Havana (AFP) - © 2023 AFP