(Vatican Radio) Spanish police uncovered a massive sex-trafficking ring that brought
women to Europe from Nigeria to work as prostitutes.
In a statement, Spanish
police said they detained 25 Nigerians who were "engaged in trafficking women for
sexual exploitation" and involved in "Internet fraud and money laundering”. Eight
were illegal immigrants. The arrests occurred in Madrid, Toledo, Cantabria and Palma
Five women victims of sex slavery were freed during the crackdown
on the underground operation. Police reportedly found a member of the gang performing
an abortion on one of the five released victims.
The women, who were allegedly
lured with the promise of good jobs in Europe, were first flown to Mexico or Brazil,
traveling with false documents. From there, investigators said, they were flown to
Paris and then smuggled into Spain to work in the sex trade.
allegedly laundered profits by buying luxury products that were shipped to Lagos,
Nigeria. Police seized some 94 vehicles near Madrid and 26 loaded ones at Valencia
port containing goods, with an estimated value of $6.7 million. Security forces used
heavy machinery to open the vans, which contained items, such as expensive television
sets and cases of premium liquor.
The gang was originally formed around 1990
at Nigerian universities and its activities also included sending "Nigerian letters"
that tried to fraudulently extract money from recipients.
followed wider concerns over human trafficking in Europe, where many Eastern European
women are also trafficked in the sex trade.