Story By: Ana Lacasa, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
The Spanish police have rescued 37 women exploited by a sex gang during five raids in the Costa del Sol and recovered a quarter million GBP in cash that the criminals had been unable to launder yet because of the lockdown.
Also arrested were 14 suspects from Colombia and Morocco.
The operation took place in the city of Malaga in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia in June this year, however the results of the investigation were only released today (25th September).
The police rescued 37 women who were found living in poor conditions and forced to work as prostitutes 24 hours a day, according to the police statement obtained by Newsflash.
The women were also forced to take and offer cocaine to clients. The drug was allegedly trafficked by the suspects as well.
Over five separate raids, the police found EUR 250,000 (GBP 228,070 GBP), one of the largest cash sums ever seized in a Spanish sex exploitation bust.
Most of the women were recruited in their home countries, with the majority coming from poor regions in Colombia, and the gang paid for their journey to Spain as tourists.
The investigation began in mid-2018 when the police were informed of the presence of a gang using sex workers in different houses in Malaga City.
During the investigation, it was confirmed that the suspected leader has a long criminal record and the gang was well structured.
Several members of the suspected leader’s family were allegedly involved in the operation, including his wife, mother, brothers, uncles and a cousin.
The victims were forced to work for at least three months just to pay off the debt of bringing them to Spain.
The gang leaders reportedly took 50 percent of the sex workers’ takings.
Officers raided five houses and arrested 14 people from Colombia and Morocco, according to the National Police.
The authorities also seized 300 grammes of cocaine, 96 grammes of cannabis, a vehicle, computers, and documents.
The police added that the suspects kept a large amount of cash in the properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the difficulties in laundering it.
The investigation continues.
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