Gang used women as sex slaves, cocaine mules
28 November 2006
MURCIA Spanish police arrested four members of a network specializing in sexual exploitation of Colombian women in brothels, police said on Tuesday.
The women, who carried false travel documents, were transported by land from Colombia to Caracas, where they were put on flights to Spain.
The organisation also used the women it was ferrying to Spain to smuggle cocaine into Spain, but police discovered the network at the Madrid airport during Operation Punta Cana, which included checks on incoming air travelers.
The criminal organisation said that the victims had to pay about EUR 6,000 each to get to Spain, but they could work off their debt if they swallowed small packets or containers filled with cocaine, which were recovered once they got to Madrid and had passed through customs.
However, once they delivered their loads of the drug, the smugglers broke their promise to wipe away the women's debt and forced them to work as prostitutes in clubs in the Murcia area to pay off the money they owed for their passage to Spain.
The profits from the sale of the cocaine and the sexual exploitation of the women were transferred back to Colombia in bank wires and via third parties.
Searches conducted in conjunction with the arrests turned up two kilograms of cocaine and several kilos of chemicals used to “cut” the drug.
Police estimated the street value of the drug they seized at EUR 250,000.
Also recovered by police were thousands of dollars in cash – including euros, dollars and currency from Colombia and Venezuela, two long-range vehicles, a motorscooter, 12 cellphones, a portable computer and documents related to drug smuggling, sex-trafficking and money laundering.