– Suspected member of European slavery network arrested in Manchester
– Human-trafficking gang ‘that smuggled prostitutes to Europe made women eat raw chicken during horrific voodoo rituals to break their will’
– Grooming gangs abused more than 700 women and girls around Newcastle after police appeared to punish victims
Suspected member of European slavery network arrested in Manchester
21 February 2018
A woman suspected of being a key member of an organised crime group that trafficked women from Nigeria to Europe and forced them into sex work has been arrested by National Crime Agency officers.
The Spanish national was apprehended on 2 February 2018 on a European Arrest Warrant after NCA investigators tracked her down to a house in Miles Platting, Manchester.
With support from Greater Manchester Police, NCA officers also detained two Nigerian men at the address aged 39 and 34 on suspicion of drugs and immigration offences.
A further 11 suspected members of the criminal network were arrested in the same week in Spain and four victims were safeguarded as part of a multi-agency operation led by the Spanish National Police with support from Europol and Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Spanish authorities believe the network recruited female victims in Benin, Nigeria, under false promises of a better life, before trafficking them to Spain. Once there, they were forced into prostitution to pay off their ‘debt’.
Investigators believe the victims were coerced using voodoo rituals and controlled this way through fear that if they did not comply, they or their family would be killed. As part of the rituals, they would be forced to eat raw chicken hearts and had their fingernails and pubic hair pulled out.
Liam Vernon from the NCA’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit, said: “Through close cooperation with the Spanish authorities and Greater Manchester Police, we have located and arrested a woman believed to be a key member of a network that trafficked and forced vulnerable women into prostitution against their will.
“Criminals involved in modern slavery seek out and exploit vulnerable individuals. They treat their victims as a commodity that can generate income over and over again….
Human-trafficking gang ‘that smuggled prostitutes to Europe made women eat raw chicken during horrific voodoo rituals to break their will’
Spanish police made 11 arrests while National Crime Agency officers made another one in Manchester
By Gerard Couzens 21 FEB 2018
Twelve people have been arrested in Spain and the UK after police smashed a gang accused of trafficking women to work as prostitutes in Europe using horrific voodoo rituals.
The women were made to eat raw chicken hearts in sickening rituals, while some had their nails yanked off and hair pulled out, detectives said.
Spanish police made 11 arrests in Alicante, Cantabria and Vizcaya and National Crime Agency officers made another one in Manchester.
Detectives say the victims were captured in poor parts of Nigeria and terrorised using voodoo rituals to “break their will”, before being smuggled into Europe to work using fake travel documents.
Most ended up in brothels in Spain after time in Italy….
Claiming the network had a “strong structure” in countries like Nigeria, Spain, the UK and Italy, the spokesman added: “The rituals were used to guarantee the submission of the victims and thanks to them, the organisation achieved their aim of control with a simple telephone call without the need for madams in the same place the exploited women were.
“The victims committed through the rituals to paying the debt they’d built up with their journey to Spain and promised not to report the people exploiting them to police.
“They were warned that if they did raise the alarm, they and their families in Nigeria would come to great harm.”
Grooming gangs abused more than 700 women and girls around Newcastle after police appeared to punish victims
‘Sexual exploitation is happening in towns and cities across the country,’ serious case review warns
Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent
Grooming gangs abused more than 700 women and girls around Newcastle with “arrogant persistence” after police appeared to punish victims while letting the perpetrators walk free, a case review has found.
The report into the response by authorities to child sexual exploitation found that before a large-scale police operation was launched in 2014, officers’ actions were sending an “unhelpful” message to perpetrators.