Six men and a minor kept against their will and forced into prostitution have been freed in a Spanish police operation which resulted in the arrest of three suspects in Cadiz.
THE Guardia Civil has confirmed all seven were brought to Spain under false pretenses from South America, before being sexually exploited in Prado del Rey.
As part of Operation Promises, the organisation “dedicated to human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and lucrative prostitution” has been shut down, and the victims freed.
In a statement, the Guardia Civil said the criminal gang sent its “captors” to different countries in South America with the aim of recruiting “young people in good physical shape”.
The young men were “promised a successful future when they arrived in Spain”, and assistance to get money back to their families.
“In order to avoid suspicions, the organisation forced the victims to pay for their trip to Spain, with the commitment that they would recover the amount very quickly with the work they would be doing in our country.
“The families of the seven young people even went so far as to resort to lenders – with exorbitant interest charges – to pay for the trip,” said the police.
But once they landed in Spain, their captors picked them up at the airport, took them to Prado del Rey, where their papers were taken from them.
The seven “prisoners” were “crammed” into one house and only allowed to interact with each other.
“They were kept in the most absolute destitution, sometimes even having to beg to survive,” the statement revealed.
The victims were ordered to participate in a homosexual chat room which was managed and controlled by the leader of the organisation, and sexual encounters took place in different locations in the province of Cadiz.
One of the gang members would stay in the area and take the money afterwards.
Police said they were then told their families would find out everything if they resisted, “consolidating the position of dominance and abuse of superiority”.
The seven young males released have been granted the status of victims of human trafficking by the Spanish authorities and psychological, health and social assistance has been made available to them.