Sexually exploited young Nigerians saved

Policia Nacional say they have dismantled an international criminal organisation that subjected its victims to sexual and labour exploitation. The operation, within the framework of the Police Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation,  resulted in the arrest of seven people, four in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, one in Bilbao and two in Germany; Six of them of Nigerian nationality and one Dutch.

The latter, the owner of a hotel business, ran a bungalow complex in Las Palmas where the victims, in addition to prostitution, had to carry out cleaning work and any other tasks required of them in order to settle a debt supposedly owed to the organisation. In addition to subjecting them to voodoo rituals, the members of the organisation did not hesitate to threaten and beat them, when they said they would report that they had suffered sexual assaults by the owner of the bungalows.

The two released victims had been captured in their country of origin, Nigeria, by members of the organisation who were operating there, who offered them a better life and well-paid jobs in Spain supposedly at a hospitality company.


This operation is part of the National Police Plan Against Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation, in operation since 2013 and which led to the activation of the telephone line 900 10 50 90 and an email trata@policia.es to facilitate citizen collaboration and complaints, anonymous and confidential. 

Before leaving their country the young women were subjected to voodoo rituals, thus laying the basis of the organisation’s exercise of control over them for the duration of the exploitation process. These rituals constitute a kind of contract by which the organisation undertakes to pay the expenses incurred by the victims for travel, and they, in turn, undertake to pay the debt incurred on the trip, and not to flee the organisation until they have paid off the debt in full and not report their situation to the authorities, under threats of violence and even death, against either them or their relatives, in case of non-compliance.