Sexually Exploited Women Freed in Murcia

Spain's National Police

Officers from the National Police have released 19 women and dismantled a criminal organisation allegedly dedicated to the trafficking of women for their sexual or labour exploitation in the town of Fuente Álamo (Murcia).

The victims, mainly from Honduras and Paraguay, were illegally introduced into Spain to be exploited as prostitutes or as caregivers for the elderly. The police investigation has concluded with the arrest of 27 people -26 in the province of Murcia and one in the province of Toledo-, decreeing provisional detention for nine of them. Among those arrested are the two leaders of the network.

The investigation began thanks to an anonymous complaint received in the email . This is one of the tools, along with the telephone line 900 10 50 90, with which the National Police Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation Purposes has to facilitate citizen collaboration and reporting, anonymously and confidentially, this type of crime.

With the information collected and the multiple investigations carried out, the agents were able to verify the existence of a criminal organisation based in the town of Fuente Álamo (Murcia) whose main activity was the trafficking of women for their sexual and / or labour exploitation.

Criminal structure with two branches

The criminal network had a structure made up of two differentiated branches. The first of them was made up of a family clan of Paraguayan origin, led by a woman, who sexually exploited women who were deceived from Paraguay and victims of other criminal organisations. This activity, together with drug trafficking, had allowed the branch to accumulate a great patrimony in recent years.

The other branch, led by a woman of Honduran nationality, was dedicated to bringing women of that nationality to Spain to work as caregivers for the elderly, charging them amounts that could amount to 7,000 euro. In the case of not being able to meet the payment of the debt installments, the victims were sexually exploited by the Paraguayan branch in order to be able to face the imposed debt more quickly.

The exploiters did not hesitate to mistreat and exercise violence against their victims, who lived under the constant threat of serious 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 has 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 hole, which would have been used to hide women in the event of a police presence. In addition, 1000 euro in cash, six vehicles, various electronic devices and numerous documentation related to the investigation have been intervened.

This operation is part of the National Police Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation. The National Police has the telephone line 900 10 50 90 and the email to facilitate citizen collaboration and the anonymous and confidential reporting of this type of crime, the call not being reflected on the telephone bill.