MOSCOW, August 12 (RAPSI) - The Tashkent Regional Criminal Court has sentenced Ochilboi Sherov to five years in prison for human trafficking between Uzbekistan and Russia, RIA Novosti reports on Wednesday citing the press service of the republic’s Prosecutor General’s Office.

The investigation revealed that Sherov talked seven young men aged between 20 and 25 into going to Yekaterinburg as migrant workers and promised a monthly salary of $500. However, upon arrival, Sherov received the money, handed over the men’s passports to his Russian partners and went back to Uzbekistan.

After working for three months for no money, the victims got their passports back, after which they returned home and filed a complaint with the law enforcement services. The suspect was detained.

According to the OSCE, Uzbekistan is a source and transit country for trafficking of women, men and children for labor and sexual exploitation. Specifically, men from Uzbekistan are exploited as workers in Kazakhstan and Russia while women are trafficked as sex slaves in Southeast Asia and Turkey.

The Uzbekistani statistics says that in 2013 some 1,392 victims of human trafficking were registered (7.4% higher than in 2012), including 1,267 taken abroad. They included 944 people exploited as workers, 370 for sex and 27 cases of children’s trade. The 2014 data has not been revealed yet.