The National Police has dismantled a Nigerian gang dedicated to the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women operating in Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium.
A total of 18 people have been arrested in Benidorm, Madrid, Tenerife, Bilbao and Cáceres. The victims were brought into Spain from in Nigeria where they were recruited as a result of voodoo rituals. They were then moved across to Europe where they were forced to engage in prostitution and petty theft.
During the course of their journey, which included a land route into Libya followed by a precarious sea voyage to Italy, the young women were accompanied throughout by a group of ‘minders’. On arriving in Italy they were then moved into Spain by air.
Investigations began when police sensed that a young girl, who applied for asylum at a Madrid police station, could be a victim of trafficking. The agents initiated efforts that led to the identification of a pair of Nigerian citizens living in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), as possible leaders of a trafficking network.
During the investigation the existence of a deep-routed trafficking network was discovered operating in several countries. In Spain the network operated in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Madrid and internationally in Belgium, Libya, Germany and Italy.
The victims were seized in Nigeria by people close to the Spanish exploiters who accompanied them all the way into Spain the entry into which was gained by using authenticated or falsified documents provided by usurping the identity of other people with similar features.
Once they reached their destination, the victims were exploited in street prostitution and also forced to commit petty theft in areas of great tourist influx such as southern Tenerife and Benidorm in order to pay off the debt owed to the trafficking network.
The agents verified that the asylum seeker had been recruited by the organization a year and a half ago in Nigeria and offered passage to Spain, which cost her 35,000 euros.
Before starting the trip, however, the victim was subjected to voodoo rites in her home country during which they obtained a guarantee on the payment of the debt, on pain of death.
The operation carried out to dismantle the organisation has since resulted in the arrest of 18 people in Madrid, Tenerife, Bilbao, Cáceres and Benidorm during which more than 18,800 euros has also been seized in cash along with various documentation related to the investigation, mobile phones and computer equipment.
If you have any suspicions that similar networks may be operating in your locality you are advised to call the National Police telephone line 900 10 50 90 or email firstname.lastname@example.org all contact with is anonymous and confidential.