Operatives of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, in collaboration with British and Spanish authorities, have rescued 39 Nigerian girls forced to work as sex slaves in Spain.
The human trafficking syndicate was smashed by NAPTIP, National Crime Agency of the British government and Guardia Civil, the Spanish law enforcement agency, in the joint operation after which 89 suspects were arrested, Punch reports
The suspects belonged to a crime gang, Eiye Confraternity, operating in Spain, the report said.
NAPTIP’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole, who confirmed the arrest in a release on Friday, said investigation into the criminal network began when a victim made a report to the Spanish authorities, detailing how she was trafficked to Spain along with other girls.
NAPTIP said the victims, who were all about 18 years old, were believed to have undergone rituals in Nigeria before being moved by a boat to Libya and Italy before they arrived in Spain.
The victims were forced to live in “cave-like houses and sexually exploited for financial gain for the gang leaders, with all the money eventually ending up in Nigeria.”
Emerole, said, “Investigation showed that the gang had numerous women working as prostitutes under their control to pay off their debts with Eiye Confraternity – upwards of €30,000 each. Eighty-nine persons have been arrested while 43 have been remanded in prison in Spain following raids at 41 addresses across Spain since November 2017.”
Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, told the newspaper that the rescue operation was successful as a result of the synergy among NAPTIP operatives and British and Spanish law enforcement agencies.