Spanish cops have busted a prostitution gang and freed seven women from working up to 24 hours a day and selling drugs to clients while being monitored through light bulb cameras.
Thirteen suspects have been arrested for prostitution, money laundering, producing false documents, belonging to a criminal organisation, and crimes against public health as part of the National Police’s Operation Leon.
The police also rescued seven women, who were forced to work for up to 24 hours on some occasions, from a life of apparent servitude to the criminal gang.
The victims were found in three properties in the province of Malaga in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.
In a statement on 13th March, the National Police said: “Agents of the National Police have rescued seven victims of sexual exploitation who were subjected to surveillance through hidden cameras in the town of Velez-Malaga (Malaga).
“Thirteen people have been arrested for crimes related to prostitution, money laundering, false documents, crimes against public health, and belonging to a criminal organisation.
“They forced the victims to engage in prostitution for hours that could reach up to 24 hours in some cases, and to distribute narcotic substances among the clients.
“During the operation, different narcotic substances, invigorating pills, precision scales, security cameras, and computers were seized, and assets of the organisation worth almost EUR 60,000 have been blocked.
“The investigation began at the start of 2021 based on information that pointed to the possible sexual exploitation of women in a house in the Malaga town of Torre del Mar, where narcotics were apparently also supplied to customers.
“The investigators’ efforts unravelled the structure of the criminal organisation that was dedicated to sexually exploiting women in a situation of vulnerability and mostly foreign from three properties in the Malaga municipality of Torre del Mar.”
The police continued: “The agents’ investigations confirmed how the victims of sexual and labour exploitation were subjected to marathon sessions, in some cases working up to 24 hours continuously, while under strict surveillance and also being forced to distribute narcotic substances among clients.
“Finally, once the members of the organisation were identified, agents carried out the entry and search of the three properties being monitored.
“In the three properties, seven victims were found and released, and several members of the criminal group were arrested.
“In addition, 25 doses of cocaine, 100 grammes of marijuana distributed in small packages, packages with invigorating pills, precision scales, EUR 3,965 in cash, computers, and mobile phones were seized.
“During the raids of the homes where the illicit activity was carried out, agents realised that group members had installed a surveillance system with hidden cameras to make sure the victims complied.
“The cameras went completely unnoticed, as some were disguised as common light bulbs and others were camouflaged in other parts of the furniture.
“In addition, in a second phase of the operation, investigators dismantled the criminal organisation completely and seized assets worth EUR 59,634. In the end, a total of 13 people were arrested and turned over to the judicial authority.”