THANKS to two telephone calls to their anti-trafficking line, the National Police were able to rescue 15 girls in Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona.
The operation has seen the arrest of 18 people, mainly Nigerians who acted as pimps under the control of a Nigerian woman who lived in Malaga.
Young women, including a number of minors, were recruited in Nigeria and were ‘persuaded’ to travel to Spain and act as prostitutes after being threatened and exposed to a number of ‘black magic’ rituals.
Untold numbers of girls were exploited over a period of years and the organisation had tendrils in Austria, Germany and Italy as well as Spain.
Once in Europe, the Nigerian girls who were invariably from large and poor families were told that they had to repay huge debts incurred in transporting and looking after them and they were kept under control and without documentation from the moment they arrived in Spain.
The detailed police investigation identified a comprehensive structure with various gang members having different responsibilities for controlling the girls, exploiting their sexual favours and collecting money from clients. Funds were then fed back to the 30-year-old Nigerian woman in Malaga.