O Spain’s National Police Corps arrested seven people in Madrid, Valencia, Salamanca, Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Bogotá (Colombia), members of a criminal organization dedicated to human trafficking that operated in Europe, and released six victims of sexual exploitation in Salamanca.

In a statement this Tuesday, the Police explained that five searches were carried out – four in Salamanca and one in Madrid – in which several cell phones, narcotic substances, 38 cartridges for a blasting weapon and documentation related to the investigation were seized.

The criminal network “recruited women in vulnerable situations and with family responsibilities”. Furthermore, “it employed a vast network of collaborators based in Colombia and Venezuela, who received an economic compensation of 500 euros for each victim recruited”.

“Members of the criminal network persuaded the victim to travel to Europe, simulating a tourist trip to access the Schengen area, taking out travel insurance and hotel reservations.” Those “implicated were responsible for sending the victims the money” required “at border controls to prove that they had sufficient means during their stay as a tourist”.

When victims arrived in their destination country, the organization recovered this money, generating “a debt for each victim of between 6,000 and 8,000 euros”.

“Sometimes, the exploitation already began when they were transferred for the first time to the city of Bogotá, where they remained temporarily until their documents were processed so they could travel to Europe. Other times, the victims traveled directly from their country of origin to the European cities of Madrid, Lisbon, Paris or Amsterdam”, reads the same note.

Members of the network “deceived victims by telling them they could pay off their travel debt in about three weeks.” Once in Spain, “they forced the victims to work as prostitutes in rented apartments in different European cities to pay off the debt.” “Often, they changed location, depending on whether it was more profitable for them and to make their criminal activity more difficult to detect”, explains the police.

The network also demanded “abusive conditions” for the exercise of prostitution, “such as the payment of rent for the apartments where they were exploited”.

The women “were unaware of the amount of this debt, as well as the additional charges imposed on them for subsistence expenses, the purchase of condoms and even commissions for publishing advertisements for sexual services or for serving clients, which implied a form of servitude that was perpetuated along with the debt”. The network “exercised absolute control over its victims”.

The operation, which included international police cooperation, managed to dismantle this network, with the release of six victims. The arrests took place in Madrid (2), Valencia (1), Salamanca (2), Amsterdam (1) and Bogotá (1).

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2524272/rede-obrigava-mulheres-a-prostituir-se-na-europa-seis-vitimas-libertadas

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