• Six Bulgarians and one Spaniard arrested in raids by Civil Guard
• Women victims forced into prostitution along Marina Alta highways
Spain’s Guardia Civil has broken up a human-trafficking ring operating in Alicante’s Costa Blanca, jailing six Bulgarian and one Spanish national for forcing Bulgarian women into sexual slavery as prostitutes along highways of Alicante’s northern Marina Alta region.
The five men and two women arrested have been charged with the crimes of human trafficking, sexual exploitation for prostitution and belonging to a criminal group, according to police sources. The group’s victims were forced into prostitution during the day and then were picked up by members of the group, to whom they were forced to turn over proceeds from their day’s work prior to being locked into apartments where they were being held.
The arrests were made as police searched three apartments, one in Benidorm and two in Teulada, in which five of the women captives were being held. Police noted one of the apartments was locked from the outside each night using a padlock and hasp so that the women could not escape.
Police also found a significant number of receipts for wire transfer remittances to Bulgaria, along with mobile phones, tablet devices and information documenting the ring’s operations.