A CRIMINAL gang of ten dedicated to trafficking women for sexual exploitation and drug dealing has been arrested in Alicante.
The nine victims being held captive have been released from three different sites in the Costa Blanca city.
Four searches were carried out where huge amounts of money, narcotics, high-end watches were found along with a fake firearm.
Investigations began when police were informed of a hotel operating throughout the Coronavirus lockdown.
Authorities found four women ‘staying’ but investigators suspected they may be victims of human trafficking.
Other victims were found at sites elsewhere in Alicante who acted as ‘protected witnesses’ and admitted that they had been captured in Colombia and Venezuela with the promise of a job in Spain.
The trafficking gang provided tickets, documentation and the money to make the journey, but all belongings were taken by the group when they arrived in Spain, contracting a ‘debt’ in the process.
To repay that debt, the victims were forced into a life of prostitution on the Costa Blanca.
Police sources say the young women were all forced to live and ‘work’ in the same seedy room around the clock.
They were not allowed to leave the premises except for a weekly shopping trip that was supervised by a gang member.
Medical assistance was denied, despite being ill and under strict control.
The captors even warned the women that harm would come to their families back home if they didn’t also sell drugs to ‘clients’.
The gang, aged between 24 and 41 years old and of Spanish, Colombian and Algerian nationalities, were placed at the disposal of the Court of Instruction number five of Alicante as alleged perpetrators of crimes of belonging to a criminal organization dedicated to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, favouring clandestine immigration and other related crimes such as drug trafficking.
The National Police has a telephone line 900 10 50 90 and an e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org for people to anonymously report such crimes.