Police raided brothels in Los Montesinos, Torrevieja and Elche

Brothels in Los Montesinos, Torrevieja and Elche were found to be involved in people trafficking and sexual exploitation after police rescued 17 women who had been fooled by false promises of work as nannies or housemaids.

In February police in Cartagena learned of a woman who could be a victim of trafficking and detected a Colombian crime syndicate that was bringing women to Spain, which was led by the managers of brothels in these Costa Blanca towns.

The victims were convinced in their home countries of Colombian and Venezuela, often by people they knew who realised they were poor and needed work.

Once the women arrived they were forced to work off a debt to the organisation for bringing them here.

As well as organising their trip, plane tickets, money and documentation, they taught them how to act to cross the border until they could be met by other gang members at the airport and taken directly to the brothels where they were forced to live.

Police searched six properties in Elche, Torrevieja and Los Montesinos and seized money, wrappers that had contained cocaine, paperwork and electronic equipment including credit card payment terminals.

They arrested 17 Venezuelan, Colombian and Spanish people, aged between 18 and 75, and freed 9 women who are being attended to by the APRAMP association for helping prostituted women.