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Tour Operator Goes Into Hiding

The head of tour operator Idealny Mir has gone into hiding in Israel as a criminal case was opened against her on fraud charges, news reports said Tuesday.

The tour operator — which means Ideal World in English — ruined vacation plans for some 160 Russian tourists planning vacations in Israel. Over the weekend, 100 travelers were unable to leave for Tel-Aviv and 54 more were stranded in Israel and Jordan after the operator failed to pay for airline tickets and hotel accommodation.

Russian officials have been unable to contact the company's director Tatyana Kavalerova since last weekend and suspect that she "might be hiding in Israel," Irina Tyurina, spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Union, told Interfax.

Federal Tourism Agency spokesman Oleg Moseyev said it also could not reach anyone from the company's management.

"None of the phone numbers are working," he said, Vedomosti reported.

The agency also appealed to prosecutors Tuesday, asking to look into an allegedly forged insurance policy for Idealny Mir with the Rosgosstrakh insurance company.

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