Spain & Poland Rescue 13 Sex Trafficking Victims, Arrest 17

Опубликовано: 14 Март 2024

Sexual Abuse across Spain and Poland arrested 17 alleged sex traffickers and rescued 13 women forced into prostitution. (Photo: Europol, License)

Spanish and Polish authorities arrested 17 alleged members of a transnational human trafficking organization and rescued 13 victims who were forced to endure slavery-like conditions and sexual servitude, Europol reported Tuesday.

Police in the two countries carried out a series of raids against the sex traffickers’ network and in the process rescued women who were brought into Europe under false pretenses, kidnapped, and made to serve as prostitutes whenever a client called upon them.

The victims, Europol said, were deceived by the traffickers into thinking that they would be brought into Europe as irregular migrants and granted work visas upon arrival in exchange for 15,000 euros (US$16,387). Once in Europe, however, they had their freedoms stripped from them and were told that they had to serve as prostitutes in order to repay the costs to smuggle them to the continent.

These women, Spanish authorities said, endured a regime of slavery wherein they were under constant surveillance and made available to clients 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Under no circumstances could they refuse to provide sexual services when called upon and, once finished, they had the majority of their wages stolen from them as “payment” for their travel expenses.

In order to keep them in perpetual servitude, the traffickers charged them a monthly fee that they also had to repay through sexual abuse. Their constant incarceration and unfamiliarity with the local language meant that any chance of escape was next to impossible.

On occasions when they were called to serve clients elsewhere as escorts, members of the trafficking group followed them at all times and kept them under video surveillance.

Europol supported the operation by facilitating analytical support between the national police services and by deploying an expert to gather forensic evidence at the site of the raids, the criminal intelligence agency said.