UK & Spanish Police Swoop On Human Traffickers In Madrid

Nine people suspected of human trafficking offences have been arrested in Madrid in a joint operation between Spanish and UK law enforcement authorities.

The warrants were executed by officers from West Midlands Police working with the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU), Spanish National Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA) after a lengthy, detailed and meticulous investigation into an escort agency that offered paid sexual services in the United Kingdom and Spain.

It is alleged that the heads of the organised crime group controlled and profited greatly from these sexual services, trafficking women within the United Kingdom in order to fulfil demand.

It was in Madrid that Spanish National Police arrested a man and a woman, both aged 43, thought to have control over the business.

Simultaneous warrants were conducted in the West Midlands and beyond. In Kent a 68-year-old man was arrested and a 50-year-old man in Tamworth. Three men, aged 28, 29 and 55, were arrested in Sandwell and two men, aged 41 and 46, were arrested in Birmingham.

All were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to control prostitution, conspiracy to traffic within the UK for sexual exploitation and money laundering offences.

All nine remain in custody for questioning and extradition proceedings for the man and woman arrested in Spain have begun.

Detective Constable Steve Oldbury said: “The warrants executed today are the result of a long running investigation into the activities of this organised crime group.

“We believe the group has netted thousands of pounds a week with funds regularly and illegally transferred out of the country.

“At the heart of this criminality is the women who are alleged to have been coerced and intimidated into performing sexual services. Their welfare is of the utmost concern.

“We work with partner agencies who are able to safeguard these women and provide ongoing support.”

Neil Keeping, National Crime Agency Regional Manager for Spain, said: “We know that organised crime groups target victims, both in the UK and overseas, for sexual exploitation purposes.

“Victims are often seeking a better life, but are instead forced into the sex industry where they are controlled and exploited by offenders who treat them as commodities in the pursuit of profit.

“Sexual exploitation is one of the most commonly reported forms of UK-based exploitation and is extremely harmful for adult victims.

“We are grateful to our partners in Spain who have assisted West Midlands Police with this investigation, and will continue to work with them as extradition proceedings begin.”


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