The Guardia Civil, within the framework of the MADONIS operation, has released six women victims of sexual exploitation in a place located in the Zaragoza neighbourhood of Garrapinillos, and has arrested 2 people, and investigated a third, responsible for these events.
The investigation began in June of last year when the Guardia Civil carried out one of the routine inspections in this place where prostitution is practiced, all within the framework of a directive on actions trafficking in human beings.
During the inspection, the agents observed how the three women who were working there, along with another who was in charge, were very nervous in the presence of the Guardia Civil. At the same time that the questions asked to the workers were answered mainly by the person in charge who controlled the answers of her employees.
For all these reasons, the agents proceeded to conduct an interview with these women alone to determine the real situation in which they found themselves, realising that the three women, as soon as they arrived in Spain, were taken directly to the premises to sexually exploit them. Likewise, the agents were able to verify that these women barely left the establishment and that their passports had correlative numbers as well as the same date of entry into this country, all of them being in an irregular situation. It should be noted that one of the victims was ill, very emaciated and despite that was being forced to continue working.
For this reason, the Guardia Civil began an investigation, revealing that it was a case of sexual exploitation by the person in charge of the premises together with his sentimental partner, who performed the functions of “madame”, with the collaboration of a woman in South America who would be in charge of capturing future victims.
The modus operandi of this network consisted of recruiting foreign girls in their countries of origin. To do this, a woman related to the manager of the Garrapinillos venue was in charge of offering young girls the opportunity to travel to Spain to work as bar waitresses or as an escort, where they would earn money and be well cared for.
These women, vulnerable due to their economic situation in their country, could not afford the cost of traveling to Spain, so the network provided them with flight tickets to Madrid, passport paperwork, hotel accommodation and money for maintenance. Once they had the necessary documentation for the trip, they were instructed in what they had to say at airport controls (their trip was for tourism, they had a hotel reservation and even that they had studied in their country of origin).
Upon arrival in Spain, either they were picked up at the airport itself or after taking a bus to Zaragoza they were picked up by the owner of the Garrapinilos establishment to transfer them directly to said location, where their partner was waiting to inform them of what their real work was going to consist of in Spain.
Likewise, they were informed at that time of the debt they had acquired with those responsible for the network, which ranged between 1,800 and 3,000 euro, and that in order to pay for it, all the work they carried out with clients would be fully charged by the person responsible for the network. premises until the debt is paid off.
To do this, they were informed that they had to stay in the establishment itself, not being able to leave it except with permission and without being able to interact with anyone outside their work, being permanently controlled by those responsible for the network.
The victims, faced with the financial debt they had contracted, had no other way out than to practice prostitution, even finding themselves afraid since the person in charge of the premises continually told them that when they found themselves in an irregular situation, if they made outings and were identified by the Guardia Civil, then they would be deported.
To carry out the activity, the organisation kept strong security measures, such as visual control by video surveillance cameras, a dangerous breed dog to guard the property, or the transfer of the girls by the members of the network, with all the time accompanied by them.
Given these facts, the investigators carried out a search at the Garrapinillos premises, where the two people responsible for the network (owner of the premises and the madame) were arrested. The detainees are accused of the alleged crimes of belonging to a criminal organisation for trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and favouring irregular immigration.
During the investigation it was possible to determine that the only purpose of this network was to obtain economic benefits, not worrying about the health or safety of its employees, who were forced to work even when they were sick and were taught to consume drugs if the clients told them to. They asked or not to defend themselves against some kind of aggression by customers.
The six victims currently released are in NGOs. The detainees have entered prison. The third person who has been investigated, who lives in a South American country, was investigated for the same crimes.
The operation has been carried out by the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil of Zaragoza.