By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 15 January 2022 • 11:10
The National Police have said that following a tip-off they raided a home in Fuente Álamo being used as a brothel to free 19 care workers who had been exploited for sex. The women were kept in a hidden den in case of inspection.
All the victims, who were held by a criminal gang, were illegally introduced to Spain. The majority came from Honduras and Paraguay and were brought here on the pre-text of being carers for the elderly.
Following an anonymous email tip-off, police raided the venue and arrested 27 people, 26 of whom are locals from the province of the Region of Murcia and one from Toledo. Among the arrested are the two leaders of the network.
The gang had a structure made up of two different branches. The first consisted of a family of Paraguayan origin, led by a woman, who deceived victims from Paraguay. This activity together with drug trafficking allowed the gang to accumulate great wealth.
The second branch, also led by a woman but from Honduras, was dedicated to bringing Honduran women to Spain to work as caregivers for the elderly. Individuals were charged 7,000 euros for the trip and the work. Those that could not meet the instalment payments to cover the debt, were sexually exploited by the Paraguayan branch to repay what was owed.
Victims were mistreated and at times beaten, living in constant fear of reprisals and the loss of property in their countries of origin if they did not comply with the payment of their debts.
The police operation ended with six searches, five in the town of Fuente Álamo and one in the province of Toledo. In the search carried out in a house used as a brothel, the agents found a very small zulo-type hole, which would have been used to hide the women in the event of a police presence. In addition, 1,000 euros in cash, six vehicles, various electronic devices and numerous documentation related to the investigation were intervened.
Sadly, woman from poorer countries do respond to what they consider to be legitimate offers of jobs as care workers only to find themselves being exploited for sex, and reliant on others to let the police the police know of their plight and to free them.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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