Bulgarian Criminal Group Arrested in Spain
A group of eight Bulgarian detainees boarded a charter flight to Spain at Sofia Airport, yesterday. Their extradition had been requested by the Spanish authorities with an international arrest warrant, according to Standard News.
On June 26th, 2017 they were charged with participation in an organized crime group for human trafficking and sex slavery operating in Spain, Germany and Switzerland. The investigation of the international crime ring started a year earlier.
The operation was attended by Cross-border Organized Crime Department staff at the DGCOC, the Specialized Prosecutor's Office and the Central Brigade for Trafficking in Human Beings at the Police Directorate General of Spain.
A joint investigative team was set up in the process of work, pre-trial proceedings were initiated, a number of coordination meetings were held to specify the tasks of each part of the team and the date for the joint realization of the operation. A total of 16 European arrest warrants were issued, Standard News Reported.
In the course of the operation, the Bulgarian police's SWAT teams raided 17 addresses and seized a lot of documents, money, jewelry, mobile phones, clocks and other possessions. The eight Bulgarian members of the criminal group were also arrested in one of the raided apartments.
At the same time, the Spanish police stormed and searched a total of 21 addresses across the country and found a large amount of money, jewelry, watches and controlled substances. Some Spanish members of the crime ring were also busted.
The scheme under which the organized criminal group worked has also revealed.
For the most part, "the recruitment" of the victims in Bulgaria was done through fraud, taking advantage of their low social status.
Arriving in Spain,the women were first beaten and drugged up. Then, they were forced into prostitution; they were ordered to steal money, credit cards and valuables from their clients. The valuable possessions were then sold on the black market.
The group had a strict hierarchy and had taken full control on the prostitution in Spain's Marbella region.
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