By Laura Kemp • 08 July 2021 • 19:24
Police in Madrid investigating a vicious assault on a Sol Metro platform.
image: policia nacional
The network, who used the “loverboy method” had been luring in victims by seducing them and promising them a better life overseas.
13 people were arrested and 16 buildings were raided by the Spanish and Romanian National Police in two crackdowns that happened in Spain in February and June in Romania.
Today, Thursday, July 8, Europol announced that 25 victims – 24 Romanians and one Bulgarian – had been identified. Nine of the victims were located in Romania and 16 in Spain.
The gang would traffic the victims to Spain where they would be taken to nightclubs and sexually exploited. The criminals would then take the victims’ earnings and leave the country, avoiding travelling by plane.
During the raids, police also seized mobile phones, digital equipment, €40,000 in cash and five bank accounts.
A similar network was brought down in October last year by French and Romanian police in which three women, who were said to be the suspects’ girlfriends, had been trafficked to France to work as prostitutes. The suspects used the victim’s money to buy themselves real estate and luxury cars in Romania.
The news comes as the government in Spain hope to crack down on sexual harassment and sexual violence with new legislation. The “Only yes means yes” proposed law includes laying out the offences related to sexual consent and it is hoped that the sexual culture of Spain will change with the proposed law.
“Consent is recognised only when a person has freely demonstrated it through actions which, in the context of the circumstances of the case, clearly express the person’s will,” says the new bill.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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