Two arrested in US for trade in 'exotic dancers'

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The Independent US

A research assistant at the University of Texas and his wife were arrested yesterday on suspicion of smuggling women from Russia into the United States and forcing them to work as nude dancers.

Sardar Gasanov, 40, and his wife, Nadira, 37, stand accused of recruiting women from their home town in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Ralph F Boyd Jr, the US assistant attorney-general for civil rights, said in a statement: "Trafficking in humans is a form of modern-day slavery that breaches most fundamental forms of human decency." The Gasanovs are accused of using illegally obtained visas that claimed the women were scientists travelling to the United States to work on research at the university, at El Paso.

The Gasanovs would confiscate the documents and threaten to turn the women over to immigration officials if they did not work as exotic dancers. They had collected an estimated $700,000 of the women's earnings, authorities said.