- The accused were held at Moscow's busiest airport after allegedly clinching deal
- Student was convinced she was going to work as a nanny in an unnamed country
- Accused are beauty contestants Ksenia Starikova, 22, and Tatiana Petrova, 19
Two beauty pageant contestants have been detained for seeking to sell an 18-year-old female student as a sex slave to a Middle Eastern country, police say.
The accused were held at Moscow's busiest airport after allegedly clinching a deal with a buyer for £19,000.
The student was convinced she was going to a good job as a nanny in the unnamed country, but in reality she would have been stripped of her passport, beaten, kidnapped, and forced to work as a prostitute in a brothel, say Russian law enforcement sources.
A video shows them hiding their faces after they were detained by police at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow
The detained women are beauty contestants Ksenia Starikova, 22 (top), a mother-of-one and the alleged mastermind of the scheme, and Tatiana Petrova, 19 (bottom)
The detained women are beauty contestants Ksenia Starikova, 22, a mother-of-one and the alleged mastermind of the scheme, and Tatiana Petrova, 19.
A video shows them hiding their faces after they were detained by police at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow.
They were held as Petrova prepared to board a plane bound for Turkey with the victim, it was alleged.
It is unclear if this was the final destination.
Police staged a sting operation posing as buyers, and the women were detained after Starikova received 1.5 million roubles (£19,000) at the airport, it is alleged.
She was a finalist in the Mrs Russia 2017 beauty contest - although she is now divorced from her military husband, and a single mother with a 14-month-old daughter.
Petrova says she is a Russian-Bulgarian model and was a finalist of Top Russia International 2018 beauty contest.
Both women have been charged with human trafficking and face up to six years in jail if convicted.
The older suspect, reported as running a 'modelling agency' while also studying for a master's degree and working as a gymnastics coach, is being held in detention.
Petrova is assisting police in explaining their trafficking plan, and is under house arrest, law enforcement sources said. Pictured: A still from a video showing the women being escorted by police officers
Petrova is assisting police in explaining their trafficking plan, and is under house arrest, law enforcement sources said.
Police say the women found a buyer for the student - fluent in English and German - on social media.
They negotiated with him for several weeks before agreeing the deal and taking the victim to Domodedovo airport in Moscow.
Petrova was due to fly with the victim as they sold the unnamed 18-year-old into sex slavery, say police.
The victim was described as a student of a foreign languages university in Moscow who had graduated with honours from her school.
She had agreed to work as a nanny in the Middle Eastern country.
She intended to be an interpreter after finishing her studies.
She was originally from Serpukhov, 60 miles south of Moscow.
Starikova was detained for two months in detention pending investigations into the case.
She has a sports degree in rhythmic gymnastics, and her young daughter is now in the care of her parents.
The Russian authorities have expressed concern about the number of women duped into foreign jobs and then trapped into sex slavery, especially in the Middle East.