Nine arrested for sexual exploitation

Police have arrested nine members of a criminal organisation, led by the clan family ‘Los Toreros’, in connection with the sexual exploitation of 24 young people at two alternative clubs in Cartagena.

The organisation acquired their prostitutes by one of two means, either smuggling women directly from Paraguay and forcing them to work to pay off their debt or by purchasing the ‘debts’ of women from other similar organisations.

The women were controlled by pimps and subjected to a harsh regime as they struggled to pay off their ‘debts’. Lateness, talking and even wearing inappropriate attire for the practice of prostitution were all deemed punishable crimes.

The women were forced to take drugs and were often intimidated by guns to keep them in line.

During raids on six premises, policed seized €54,000 in cash, firearms, cocaine, several vehicles and a mountain of documentation. In addition, seven properties have been seized and 27 bank accounts have been blocked.

The investigation into the activities of this particular organisation had been ongoing since October 2010.

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