Israel holds 9 for price fixing for concentration camp visits


JERUSALEM — Nine top executives at Israeli travel agents have been arrested on suspicion of inflating prices of student visits to Auschwitz and other former Nazi concentration camps in Poland, investigators said Tuesday.

Police raided the corporate offices and homes of several suspects and froze some accounts, a statement said. At least six travel agencies are accused of violating competition rules by colluding on prices before responding to an education ministry tender to take students to Holocaust memorials. The alleged price fixing was aimed at maintaining the impression of competition while keeping prices high. Seventy years after the liberation of the death camps, thousands of Israeli high school students perform such trips each year.

The price of a trip can cost several thousand shekels per student (1,000 shekels equals US$250), according to reports in the Israeli media.