Madrid police round up criminal organisation for sexual exploitation of girls

by Lorraine Williamson
sexual exploitation criminal gang - screen grab from official Policia Nacional YouTube video

MADRID – The Spanish Police arrested 37 members of a criminal organisation engaged in the sexual exploitation of underage girls. Among other things, they are suspected of sexual abuse, exploitation, possession of child pornography, and deprivation of liberty.

The underage victims were not only forced into prostitution but also used for the sale of narcotics in so-called drug buildings in the Madrid neighbourhoods of Usera and Vallecas. During the arrest, one Romanian, one Dominican, and eight Spanish girls were freed from the hands of the criminal organisation. One of the suspects even used his daughter under the false pretext that she was of age. 

Recruited by famous rapper 

Most of the arrested suspects come from the Dominican Republic and North Africa. Eight of them was sent to prison. One of the suspects is rapper Saymol Fly, who is known on YouTube and has more than 150,000 followers on this social media platform. It is possible, he was used by the gang to recruit underage girls. 

At the home of one of the suspects, 300 grams of cocaine was also found. Furthermore, another has 40 previous arrests, four of which were on suspicion of committing sexual violence. During the searches, the police found a basement under a hair salon in the Vallecas neighbourhood where the girls were forced into prostitution and where drugs, weapons, computer equipment containing child pornography and money were stored. 

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Girls stayed in a youth shelter 

The management of a youth centre in Paracuellos de Jarama had informed the police after several minors from the centre showed unusual behaviour and suddenly found themselves in possession of expensive items. Therefore, in April of last year, the police started an investigation. A 16-year-old girl was found to leave the institution regularly to have sexual contact with adult men in exchange for money or drugs. 

Later it turned out other girls were in the same situation. The girls were lured through social media with money in exchange for selling drugs, but they were often sexually abused during the transfer. The girls themselves were drugged. Consequently,  this made them addicted and thus dependent on the criminal organisation. The gang members were also allegedly guilty of sexually abusing the underage girls. 

After the dismantling of the criminal gang in Madrid, three of the girls were transferred to youth shelters.  One of the girls saw her family again, and three girls went to closed shelters. 

Related post: Human trafficking and exploitation in Spain

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