Gang providing Nigerian women as sex slaves in Spanish resorts arrested

sex slaves

A human trafficking gang providing women from Nigeria as sex slaves in Spanish resorts popular with European holidaymakers has been seized by police.

Investigators arrested 25 suspects, including a woman who was said to have been the gang leader, who used refugee boats from Africa to transport the women.

Officials say the gang recruited vulnerable women in Nigeria and intimidated them by claiming to have cast voodoo spells over them.

Spanish media said the gang provided women for the sex trade in Benidorm, Malaga and Valencia.

Police said 16 women being kept by the traffickers had been freed.

Four houses in Spain were raided and searched as well as a property in Helsinki, Finland, where the gang leader apparently lived.

The gang reportedly used a sophisticated trafficking network to move their victims to Niger and then Libya where they joined the refugee trail to Italy.

After leaving refugee camps, the gangs would smuggle them over the border to Spain where they were put to work as prostitutes.

Gang members would take them to the Spanish capital Madrid to make sure they registered as refugees so they could be put to work without police interfering.

The investigation began when two women from Nigeria begged for help from refugee officials in Madrid.

Police say trafficked women were forced to live in apartments controlled by the gang, where they were ordered to have sex for hours every day.