POLICE in a joint operations in Bulgaria and Spain have freed 13 women being used as sex slaves by a gang trying to “gain absolute control” over Marbella.
The operation has been ongoing for some time after one of the women was able to escape and contacted police. An expert interviewed the woman and established that the story was true. She was then given full police protection.
The investigation led police to find that it was not a small operation but in fact a large-scale international criminal organisation operating mostly in Bulgaria and Spain, based on this information Bulgarian and Spanish police entered into a collaborative investigation conducted by Eurojust and Europol.
The joint forces established that the criminals were abusing or charming women in the poorest areas in Bulgaria to agree to fly to Malaga airport. Once in Spain they were placed in properties between Torremolinos and Marbella with other women in the same situation.
The women used as prostitutes were violently attacked or threatened with abuse of their family if they refused to follow orders. They were encouraged to target drunken tourists and rob them of credit cards, cash and valuables if possible.
National Police have arrested 34 people suspected to have been involved in the operation, 26 in Spain and eight in Bulgaria. Six buildings and 18 cars have been seized. The women involved have been freed and whilst the operation remains open it is believed the criminal organisation is completely disbanded.