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Israel busts officials for price-fixing school trips to concentration camps

Israeli police have arrested several travel agency officials involved in a price-fixing ring for trips to death camps. Thousands of Israeli high school students visit sites like Auschwitz each year.

Investigators said on Tuesday nine people were arrested in the crackdown over suspicions they fixed prices in order to steal business away from competitors.

Authorities searched offices and confiscated equipment and documents as part of the investigation, according to one police spokesman.

The suspects reportedly worked for several different travel agencies and included six executives.

Rite of passage

Around 30,000 Israeli high school students travel to Poland each year to visit sites like the Auschwitz concentration camp, in what is often described as a rite of passage for young people in that country.

Israel's Ministry of Education sees the trips as a way of preserving memory of the Holocaust, in which some 6 million Jews perished under the Nazis during World War II.

However, the ministry has also faced criticism for the sometimes exorbitant cost of the trips.

blc/kms (AP, Reuters)

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