Eesti in brief - 2006-05-03

  • 2006-05-03
The Reform Party's convention gave its unanimous support to a proposal by Defense Minister Jurgen Ligi that young men in conscript military service be paid monetary compensation for service. Ligi came up with the idea at a meeting of the Reform Party's extended board at the beginning of March. Meanwhile, the party's secretary general, Kristen Michal, said Reformists wanted to win 27 seats in Parliament in next year's general elections. He said that in great probability a result like this would mean election victory.

The Tallinn district court ruled against the release of two Israeli nationals arrested in October 2005 in connection with a shipment of 45 kilograms of cocaine, the largest such haul intercepted in northern Europe. The court found the applications to be without basis and left the two suspects identified by their first names as Meir, 36, and Yaloz, 33, under arrest. The central criminal police launched proceedings in collaboration with U.S. investigators after 45 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a big metal gearwheel was shipped from Lima on Sept. 23. The destination of the shipment was Estonia. The shipment was accepted in Estonia by a company belonging to an Israeli national.

Tallinn taxi drivers charge foreigners much higher fares than are legitimate, according to a fresh survey by the Estonian Association of Hotels and Restaurants. The survey, conducted among foreigners at six of the capital's hotels in April, shows that over half of the arriving guests had paid more for the taxi ride than the normal tariff. The survey also revealed that there were cheats in all of the taxi companies embraced by the survey. The association said it had recorded the license numbers of the taxis that brought customers to the hotels where the interviews were made. "We will make this data available to the Estonian Taxi Companies Association and the taxi companies," association chairman Tarmo Sumberg said.

A leading daily reported that in December 2005, police uncovered a brothel in Tallinn where 14 's 17-year-olds were forced into prostitution by an 18-year-old manager/owner. The brothel, which operated in a ground-floor apartment of a five-story building in Oismae, was raided just as the manager, identified only by Jevgenija, was about to relocate the business. To run the business, Jevgenija teamed up with a 32-year-old former convict, Sergei, whom she knew from her hometown in northeastern Estonia. "To put it simply, Jevgenija went to her home town and invited her former playmates to work," a police official said. The brothel soon had one 14-year-old, one 15-year-old and two 17-year-old girls working for 400 's 600 kroons (26 's 38 euros) per hour. The girls, who received just 150 kroons per customer, had to pay a daily rent of 75 kroons regardless of whether or not they received clients. Among the eight people who are to stand trial are three drivers who used to take the girls to customers as well as a taxi driver who drove clients to the place for a fee.