Spanish police arrest two suspected sex traffickers of Nigerian women
Spanish authorities have arrested two people alleged to be involved in a human trafficking network that used voodoo rituals to turn Nigerian women into sex slaves.
The suspects were arrested in Valencia, where the police also found and rescued another victim.
The Nigerian women were reportedly transported to Spain from Benin City, Nigeria, by a clique of human traffickers.
Spanish national police said in a statement that while the victims awaited their transport to Spain, they were forced to endure a voodoo ritual through some magical practices. Their traffickers also threatened to kill members of their families if they resist.
The victims were first transported to Tripoli, Libya, where they were later transported to Italy by boat and later flown to Spain with falsified travel documents.
Upon reaching their final destination, the Nigerian women were told that they are to pay the organisation that ensured their transportation to Spain a debt of 38,500 euros (US$43,825), which must be paid through prostitution.
The arrest of their captors shows a continued reign of human traffickers from Nigeria to Spain who use death threats and deceits to force women into prostitution.
In 2017, Spanish and Moroccan authorities arrested 10 people suspected of having trafficked dozens of Nigerian women to Spain and enslaving them into prostitution for as little as five euros per client.
The women were forced to prostitute for more than 12 hours per day and were severely punished if they did not earn enough before returning.
Authorities said the alleged slavers utilised a rigid system of fines wherein they continuously increased the debt owed to them by their victims.
A 16-year-old girl was rescued in 2015 when police caught wind of the network’s activities in Torrevieja, a city in Spain’s south-eastern Alicante province.
Spanish police authorities said the suspects had invested the majority of their ill-gotten gains back in Nigeria to finance new trafficking and enslaving operations.
The investigation led to the arrest of 30 suspects and the rescue of 18 captured women.