From a previous operation by the National Police against Playa de Palma prostitution and exploitation. | CNP

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Five people have been arrested as part of the third operation in a month against human trafficking centred on Playa de Palma. The National Police have dismantled another gang that was exploiting Nigerian women and forcing them into prostitution in the resort.

The investigation began in April when one of the women made a complaint. She said that she was being exploited sexually and detailed the humiliating and degrading conditions that she was being subjected to. She explained that the gang's leaders forced her to be a prostitute and that she had to work long hours with no day off, had no choice as to "clients" and had to hand over all the money that she earned.

An exhaustive operation by the police led them to identify the members of the criminal organisation and the roles that each of them played. The woman tried to escape and received several death threats. She refused to bow to this pressure, but threats were then extended to her family in Nigeria: they could expect to be seriously harmed as could their property.

The gang was led by a married couple who were responsible for the sexual exploitation of women and for illegal immigration. Women chosen as victims were in vulnerable situations in Nigeria who were provided with a route out of the country on the promise of work. They were, however, subjected to voodoo rituals, as has been highlighted in other successful operations by the police, forced to swear loyalty to the gang and indebted to the gang by up to 30,000 euros.