Spain: Police Smash Sex Trafficking Ring, Arrest 25 Suspects
Spanish police arrested 25 Nigerians operating a sex trafficking ring, authorities said in a statement on Sunday.
The BBC reports that the gang used "the promise of good jobs in Europe" to lure Nigerian women to Spain where they would then be exploited in the sex trade. The women were flown to Mexico or Brazil and then France where they would be smuggled into Spain.
"The gang was using Spain as a springboard to send Nigerian women to be exploited in other countries, and it laundered profits by buying luxury products that were shipped to Lagos, Nigeria," according to the AP.
Five women were rescued in the operation. Police discovered one member of the gang performing an abortion on a victim.
Authorities also found more than 100 vans belonging to the suspects containing luxury goods and alcohol worth an estimated US$6.6 million in Madrid and Valencia.
The 25 suspects, who included eight illegal immigrants, were arrested in operations conducted throughout Spain in Madrid, Toledo, Cantabria, and Palma de Mallorca. Police did not detail when the arrests took place.
The gang was reportedly formed more than two decades ago in Nigeria and engaged in a spam “Nigerian letter” email operation attempting to scam money from recipients. The suspects face charges of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, internet fraud, and money laundering.