The women slept in bunk beds and did not have a bathroom. | National Police


A 35-year-old Spanish woman has been arrested by the National Police and charged with the illegal trafficking and clandestine immigration of people for sexual purposes and with offences against workers' rights.

The woman was apparently responsible for running a "well-known" hostess flat in Palma. Women, mainly Colombian, had been enticed to Majorca by offers to pay for their travel and to deal with permissions for them to enter Spain as tourists. The women knew that they would be offered work as prostitutes. This would be work with "beneficial terms" for them.

The reality was different. By ensuring that the women lacked residency and work permits, the accused was able "to impose burdensome and abusive conditions". The women were forced to spend a minimum of twenty-one days in the apartment. During this time they had be available to clients 24 hours a day.

The accused took 50% of the earnings from the women, some of them single mothers with children in Colombia. They also had to pay 25 or 30 euros a day for accommodation in conditions described by the police as "subhuman". This accommodation, which was overcrowded, comprised bunk beds in an "illegal construction". There was no bathroom, so they had to go down two floors and to a courtyard at the building.