Spanish police Friday arrested 23 people in multiple cities for their involvement in a Nigerian human trafficking operation that forces women into prostitution with the threat of voodoo, the New York Times reports. From The Times:
The traffickers lured their victims with promises of a better life in Europe and took them to a voodoo priest before departure, the police said in a statement. The traffickers then smuggled them to Spain, where they told the victims they had to repay a hefty debt for their journey through prostitution or face the wrath of voodoo spirits.
Once the women were in Spain they began their work as prostitutes but were not allowed to keep any of the money they made, as it was required to pay their travel debt. According to the Telegraph:
All the money which the women earned was kept by the ring until they had paid off the debt they incurred to make the trip to Spain, which typically amounted to 50,000 euros (£44,000), police said.
The Telegraph report also notes another case earlier this month, in the Netherlands, that dealt with 11 accused of using voodoo threats to traffic Nigerian women and girls as prostitutes.