Israeli and Russian police announced Tuesday that they had uncovered the largest network of white slave traders operating between the two nations in the past few years.

The alleged leaders of the network were arrested - 10 people in all - in a joint police operation over the weekend.

The investigation began a few months ago, when several suspects were arrested in Jerusalem on suspicion of smuggling women from the former Soviet Union into the country and employing them in escort services in the city.

As the investigation proceeded, Jerusalem police inspectors managed to locate the alleged top white slave-trade criminal Shota Shmalashvili, also nicknamed "Tarzan," in Moscow.

Shmalashvili, who was targeted by several police intelligence agencies worldwide, was apprehended on Friday. Police also arrested two of his alleged partners who operate in Israel.

The two were arrested on suspicion of smuggling dozens of women across the Egyptian border over the past few years and selling them to escort services and brothels throughout the country, at a price of some $7,000 per woman.