COSTA BLANCA police have released nine women who were forced to become prostitutes and take part in Voodoo rituals by a criminal gang. National agents also arrested 20 members of a Nigerian pimping and trafficking ring operating throughout the province.
The women were taken to the Costa Blanca under the false promise of decent work but found themselves trapped and forced to take part in horrific Voodoo rituals. They were held hostage by gangmasters, who sold their bodies at clubs around Alicante and Murcia.
In one example, detectives found the women had been compelled to eat raw hearts torn from live chickens.
Many were stripped of all their documentation and told they were indebted to the traffickers to the tune of €30,000 for arranging transport from Africa to Spain. That money was to be paid back through prostitution. The conditions of their isolation amounted to psychological domination, detectives said.
The police operation began earlier this year when Local Police got wind of the criminals issuing death threats to several women who had tried to escape.
Officers from the Costa Blanca were soon embroiled in an international affair, dealing with Nigerian gangsters, Libyan smugglers and the Italian mafia.
What will happen to the rescued women now remains unclear. None of them speak Spanish, have identification, money, or somewhere safe to go. They live in fear of being returned to Nigeria or other African countries where they face being punished by the gangs if discovered.