Granada criminal gang accused of exploiting Nigerians in Spain

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© DFID (UK Department for International Development) / Wikimedia.
Nigerian women and their children.

A NATIONAL POLICE operation has dismantled an organisation accused of smuggling Nigerian citizens into Spain and then forcing women to work as prostitutes and men to beg on the street.

Allegations of a possible trafficking victim of Nigerian nationality stationed in Algeciras in February 2015, led to an investigation by the Commissioner General of Immigration and Borders in collaboration with the Provincial Brigade of Public Safety in Malaga and Granada. 

In conjunction with the operation, the National Police launched a confidential phone and email ‘helpline’ service to facilitate collaboration with citizens on Human Trafficking crimes. 

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During this process, authorities became aware of a gang with international connections for transiting trafficking victims across countries, members of which were bringing persons of ‘absolute personal and economic vulnerability’ from their home country, usually Nigeria, to Spain before forcing them to work off an ‘enormous debt’ to the traffickers, who threatened the victims and their families with voodoo rituals and other violence in order to ensure their cooperation.

The National Police report confirmed that absolute control was maintained over the victims, as their captors ‘deprived them at all times from any kind of personal relationship outside the organisation’ and told females told how to dress and behave to attract more customers for sexual services.     

On January 23, eleven alleged members of the criminal gang, which is said to have been formed by Nigerian nationals, were arrested in Granada, though officers have since confirmed the release of three persons. 

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