Major human trafficking ring dismantled: Women exploited in the UK from Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
human trafficking
ASSSA

A joint operation between Spanish and British law enforcement has led to the arrest of 20 individuals involved in a sophisticated human trafficking network.

The Spanish National Police, in collaboration with the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), have successfully dismantled a criminal organisation operating between Spain and the UK. This network was responsible for the sexual exploitation of women, primarily targeting those in vulnerable situations due to drug dependencies.

Operation details

The criminal enterprise generated substantial profits, with weekly earnings amounting to thousands of pounds. These illicit gains were then funnelled back to Spain through illegal channels. The operation culminated in the arrest of 20 suspects: two individuals were detained in Madrid and 18 others across various locations in the UK.

Exploitation and coercion

Investigations revealed the harrowing methods employed by the traffickers. Victims, often women struggling with substance abuse, were lured with false promises and then coerced into prostitution. Disturbingly, one pregnant woman was forced to terminate her pregnancy to continue being exploited. The organisation operated through various means, including a contact website managed from Alicante, which advertised the women’s services.

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Luxurious lifestyles funded by crime

Leaders of the network, residing in Spain, managed the operations and profits, maintaining luxurious lifestyles. Properties and other assets acquired from their criminal activities are currently under investigation.

Call for public assistance

The police nacional have emphasised the importance of public assistance in combating such crimes. They provide a confidential and anonymous hotline (900 10 50 90) and an email (trata@policia.es) for reporting human trafficking activities.

Significant seizures

During raids in Madrid and Alicante, police seized substantial evidence, including over €4,000 in cash, multiple mobile phones, computers, banking cards, and other items relevant to the investigation.

Also read: One of UK´s most wanted arrested in Marbella after nearly 2 decades on the run

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