Police with one of those arrested for prostitution coercion. | Policía Nacional

Three Colombians, two men and a woman, have been arrested by the National Police and accused of illegally detaining a Colombian woman and forcing her to act as a prostitute. They face charges of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, belonging to a criminal organisation, coercing into prostitution and threatening behaviour.

A police investigation started earlier this month when the woman reported that she was being forced into prostitution. One of the two arrested men, who lives in Tenerife, is said to have "captured" her in Colombia, while the other two were in charge of her control and exploitation in Palma.

The woman thought she would have a job as a domestic employee and wanted to come to Spain for a better life. All her travel documentation was dealt with by the gang, but once in Majorca her passport and money were taken away. She was informed that she had run up a debt for an "exorbitant amount" and that she would have to engage in prostitution in order to pay it off. If she refused, she was warned that she and her family would suffer the consequences. She was told that it was easy to hire "dangerous people" in Colombia who could harm relatives.

She managed to escape and to inform the police. One of the three gang members had already been arrested in Tenerife for similar crimes. A police operation there led to the freeing of seven women.