Police smash Brazilian sex slave ring in Canarys

14th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 May 2007, PALMA - Police arrested 19 people in Palma de Mallorca in an operation to smash a crime ring devoted to sexually exploiting women, mostly Brazilians.

14 May 2007

PALMA - Police arrested 19 people in Palma de Mallorca in an operation to smash a crime ring devoted to sexually exploiting women, mostly Brazilians.

The National Police said the raid took place at the Casablanca club in the city of Palma, which fronted as a hairdressing salon, although it was open 24 hours a day and some months took in more than EUR  66,000 euros (about USD 90,000).

Investigations began last January after a two Brazilian women made a complaint in Barcelona claiming to be victims of a prostitution ring operated by a man of Brazilian origin who brought women to Spain to practice prostitution in clubs around the Balearic Islands.

The agents discovered that in the Casablanca club the prostitution and exploitation of women, mostly Brazilians, were practiced in three shifts, each supervised by a different madam.

The club operated as an apparently legal hairdressing salon until the end of 2006, although its only activity was prostitution.

Police agents estimate that since 2005 the club would have taken in approximately EUR 3 million.

The women were recruited in Brazil by an associate, who offered the victims the chance to go to Spain as prostitutes in exchange for 2,200 euros (close to $3,000).

That man took charge of getting them air tickets and told them what route to take - usually Sao-Paulo-Madrid-Palma de Mallorca - and how to dress and behave to look like tourists arriving in Spain.

The more than 20 women who worked at the club all shared a single room and at times could only rest a couple of hours a day.

According to Spanish security forces, the Federal Police of Brazil are continuing the investigation of the case in that country to find the ring's Brazilian bosses.

Of the 19 under arrest, two are accused of crimes against foreign citizens related to prostitution and against workers' rights.

The other six are charged with crimes related to prostitution, according to the police, while 11 women, all of Brazilian origin, were taken into custody for breaking immigration laws.

[Copright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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