The victims were lulled into false hope of jobs in Spain and then forced to work in brothels in Los Montesinos, Torrevieja and Elche

Investigators from the National Police have dismantled a criminal gang dedicated to the recruitment of young people, of Venezuelan and Colombian nationality, who would later be forced into their network for sexual exploitation in the Region of Murcia and Province of Alicante.

As a result of the investigation, 17 people have been arrested, all of Venezuelan, Colombian and Spanish origin, and aged between 18 and 75, thus dismantling the network and freeing 9 women from their grasps.

The investigation began in February when officials from the foreigner´s department at Cartagen local police detected the presence of a woman who was a possible victim of a crime of sexual exploitation.

Steps were immediately made to remove and protect the victim from her abusers.

The investigation then revealed a criminal network of Colombian origin that would introduce girls into Spain in order for them to be forced into prostitution, operating mostly through the towns of Los Montesinos, Torrevieja and Elche.

The victims were captured in their country of origin, Colombia and Venezuela, often seduced with the promise of good jobs by people known to them, both from Colombia and Spain, who would promise jobs as domestic workers or caretakers, lulling the victims into a false belief that their future in Spain would be one of working in a reputable manner for a far higher salary than they could possibly achieve at home.

Once they were caught in the web of the gang, it would be revealed to the victims that the job was no what was promised, but now that they had accrued a considerable debt with them based on the initial promise, they would have to work to repay them, their only hope being working in the brothels set up by the gang.

Having secured their transport, the victims were met at the airport in Spain by members of the criminal gang, and escorted immediately to the brothels in Los Montesinos, Torrevieja or Elche, where they would also hand over items they had been carrying for the gang, such as money or drugs.

The police operation has resulted in the arrest of 17 people, all allegedly responsible for the crimes of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, relating to prostitution, favouring clandestine immigration, drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation.

In addition to the detainees, nine victims of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation were located in the operation. The victims are now being cared for by a specialist group set up to look after people forced into this sort of situation.

The National Police also have a confidential hotline where members of the public can report their suspicions related to sexual exploitation or human trafficking, which is ‘900 105090’ and the email address ‘[email protected]

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