The National Police have broken up a ring of human traffickers who used juju voodoo and animal sacrifices to coerce women into prostitution.
Officers rescued four victims and arrested six members of the organization who sexually exploited the women. Traffickers reportedly promised the Nigerian nationals jobs in Spain, only to force them into prostitution once they brought them to places such as Palma de Mallorca in the Balearics.
The traffickers had put the women through a juju voodoo ritual that used the victims’ finger nails or pubic hair and involved animal sacrifice in front of idols in a temple in order to “guarantee that the women complied with everything they demanded, under threat of death to them and their families”.
Juju is a practice originating in West Africa, often characterized by amulets and spells. It has commonly been used to drive Nigerian women into sex trafficking in places like Italy and the United Kingdom by exploiting the women’s fears of the powerful ‘magic’.
The women in Spain were also coerced into assuming a debt of up to 50 thousand euros pledging subservience to the group’s madam and the pimps.
The National Police began the investigation into the network in February after finding a woman of sub-Saharan origin who appeared to be a victim of trafficking who then confirmed their suspicions.
All traffickers from the group who were in Spain have been arrested and charged with human trafficking for sexual exploitation, membership in a criminal organization, forced prostitution or pimping and crimes against the rights of foreigners.