Members of a gang that organised paedophile sex tours to former Soviet state Moldova have been sentenced to up to 21 years in jail, RIA Novosti reported.
The gang includes foreign nationals, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily said.
Two foreigners among the convicted, including an Italian and a Russian-Norwegian dual citizen, were both sentenced to 21 years in jail. Three Moldovan associates were sentenced from 10 to 18 years.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda said the Italian arrived in Moldova to open a travel agency. Later he "searched for and coerced children for sexual exploitation".
He also created a website which contained pornographic material and offered sex tours to Moldova.
According to the prosecutor's office, a tourist paid the organizer 500 euros for sex with a minor, part of which was paid to adolescents, often children from troubled families, who were recruited to provide sexual services to foreigners.
Citizens of Germany, Sweden, US, Denmark, Thailand and Australia visited Moldova on the group's tours, it said.
The Italian was arrested when he tried to rape a 13 year-old boy. After the arrest, all members of the gang confessed their involvement, the prosecutors said.
Moldova has adopted a law legalising chemical castration as a possible punishment for sexual offences, especially those involving minors. It comes into force July 1.