Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have bust an EIYE confraternity gang involved in human trafficking in Spain.
NAPTIP hinted yesterday that 39 women victims of sexual exploitation were rescued in the operation, which was conducted jointly with the operatives of the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the British Government and Guardia Civil, the Spanish Law Enforcement Agency, France.
This was contained in a statement signed by the head, Press and Public Relations of the agency, Josiah Emerole, and made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend.
The statement noted: “The victims, all Nigerian nationals and many under the age of 18, are believed to have undergone ‘Voodoo-Juju’ rituals in Nigeria to coerce them if they did not comply with orders given by the gang leaders. They were then moved by boat to Libya and Italy, before arriving in Spain”.
NAPTIP further revealed that the women were forced to live in cave-like houses, in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, unable to leave and sexually exploited for the sole purpose of financial gain for the gang leaders, with all money eventually ending up in their hands in Nigeria.
The statement further revealed that the international investigation into the organised criminal network began when a victim made a report to the Spanish authorities, detailing how she arrived in Spain along with a number of other girls.
Money from the trafficking, the agency revealed is laundered, through the honour-based Hawala system, popular with organised crime gangs.
“Investigators found the gang had numerous women under their control working as prostitutes to pay off their debts with Eiye Confraternity, upwards of 30,000 euros each, for the cost of moving the victims into Europe”, the agency added.