THE National Police has arrested 16 alleged members of an international network dedicated to human trafficking and the exploitation of Romanian women in Valencia, Spain from Saarbrücken, Germany.
As reported by the Ministry of Interior, the operation was carried out through a joint collaboration between police units from Spain and Germany under the instruction of Europol.
An investigation was launched after a woman made a complaint at the National Police in Valencia, claiming to be held without her will by a criminal gang made up of Romanian citizens, who were sexually exploiting her.
Agents soon discovered that the criminal gang was based in the towns of Alzira in Valencia and Saarbrücken, Germany. The group had relocated from Germany to Spain after encountering problems with another rival gang, moving to Valencia where some members of the organisation lived.
It is believed that the members of the criminal gang targeted women from broken homes, enticing them to Spain with promises of a better life. However, the reality was very different and once in Spain, the women’s documentation was taken from them and they were forced with violence into practicing prostitution in the industrial zone south of Valencia, known as the ‘Silla track’.
According to the Ministry of Interior, “the victims were strictly controlled by members of the criminal gang, who were in charge of searching for clients and agreeing on the price taken for the sexual services”.
After enough evidence was compiled, agents searched 5 homes in the province of Valencia, 4 in the town of Alzira and 1 in the town of Tavernes de Valldigna, where 17 women were found to be sexually exploited. The search also uncovered €8,000 in cash and several weapons.
We at Euro Weekly News understand that the alleged members of the criminal organisation have been charged with human trafficking, sexual exploitation, belonging to a criminal organisation and intimidation with violence.