Thirty-nine Nigerian girls and women who were forced into prostitution by a sex trafficking ring in Spain have finally gained their freedom after their alleged oppressors were arrested by police in Spain, Reuters reports.
The girls, mainly under 18, were threatened with black magic to obey the orders of the Nigerian crime ring which brought them to Spain, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) is reported to have said.
Eighty-nine people, including a popular Nigerian DJ who is yet to be identified, were picked up by the Spanish police in an operation carried out by British and Nigerian law enforcement agencies.
According to Britain’s NCA, the girls were trafficked to Spain through Libya and Italy and were kept in cave houses in the southeastern city of Almeria.
They were subsequently forced to practice prostitution to enable them to pay off debts of $36,900 each that they were told to be owing to the organization that facilitated their journey to Europe.
“(This) was a highly organised crime gang, exploiting young women for lengthy periods of time, keeping them in horrendous conditions where they knew there would be no escape,” the NCA’s deputy director Tom Dowdall said in a statement cited by Reuters.
Meanwhile, a Nigerian woman believed to be controlling some of the victims in Spain was also arrested in Manchester this year and is currently in custody awaiting extradition to Spain, the NCA added.