Eleven women freed from Malaga-run pimp network

The victims were forced into prostitution in Paris after the false promise of a job

IRENE QUIRANTE

A large prostitution network which operated from Malaga, Madrid, Paris and Colombia has been dismantled. Victims were recruited in their countries of origin with the false promise of a job but were forced into prostitution in flats and hotels in Paris.

At least fifty victims who fell into their trap were sexually exploited, according to SUR sources. The women were mainly from Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay. The scheme was run by a couple from Colombia who recruited the victims.

Telephone call centres in Malaga and Madrid acted as intermediaries to attract clients through advertisements and arrange sexual encounters.

The operation was called 'Arepa' and the investigation began in France when the authorities became aware that several women, aged between 20 and 40, were being forced into prostitution.

With the intervention of the National Police, the French and Colombian authorities and Europol, the network has been dismantled with 25 house searches and a total of 12 people arrested – six in Spain, four in France and two in Colombia.

In the three searches carried out in Spain, two of them in the province of Malaga and one in Madrid, 17,000 euros in cash, 33 mobile phones and various documents were seized. The detainees are charged with crimes of human trafficking, money laundering and of being a member of a criminal organisation.