Sex exploitation gangs busted in Spain

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Spain leads international sex exploitation investigation
Spain leads fight against sex exploitation. Credit: Shutterstock

SPAIN’S National Police force has so far in 2019 dismantled 54 criminal organisations engaged in trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation, labour or forced begging.

The Central Unit for Illegal Immigration Networks and Documentary Falsifications of the National Police (UCRIF) says that 44 of the gangs were engaged in human trafficking and sexual exploitation. In this area, 730 administrative inspections were also carried out as a preventive measure in the exercise of prostitution, of which 63 per cent were carried out in hostess clubs. In these inspections, 4,303 persons at risk were detected.

During the first 10 months of the year, a total of 115 reports were processed – 53 for trafficking in human beings and 62 for sexual exploitation – and 467 victims were identified, of whom 143 were being trafficked and 324 sexually exploited, the majority of whom were women.

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In total, 264 people have been arrested, 109 accused of trafficking in human beings and 155 of sexual exploitation. By nationality, the victims of human trafficking were mostly Venezuelans, Paraguayans and Colombians, while the victims of sexual exploitation came mainly from China, Colombia and Spain.

In addition, nine operations were carried out against groups engaged in labour exploitation. In this area, 2,160 administrative inspections were carried out as a preventive activity in workplaces, of which 32 per cent were carried out in hostess clubs. These inspections identified 6,135 people at risk.

A total of 49 attestations were processed, seven for trafficking in human beings and 42 for labour exploitation, and 230 victims were identified, of whom 50 were for trafficking and 180 for labour exploitation. 103 people were arrested as a consequence of these police actions, 17 accused of human trafficking and 86 for labour exploitation. By nationality, the victims of human trafficking were, in this area, mostly Romanians, Senegalese and Venezuelans, while the victims of labour exploitation came mainly from Ukraine, Morocco, Pakistan and Spain.


In addition, during this period, the National Police carried out an operation against forced begging. Thanks to this police intervention, four victims were detected and 11 people were arrested. All the perpetrators and the victims were Romanian nationals.

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