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Manchester link to Nigerian prostitution racket 

PAGE 17 Manchester link to  Nigerian prostitution racket

Police have released a number of women who were being held against their will with voodoo threats and forced to work as prostitutes in caves.

Police said they were living in very dangerous conditions, having been captured in Nigeria and then smuggled via Libya and Italy to Spain.

The international gang had links in all parts of the world, including Manchester which was one of the locations for a series of 41 raids. The ope-ration was carried out with the help of the National Crime Agency.

A spokesman for the Spanish police said: “Thirty-nine women of Nigerian nationality who were being sexually exploited have been released, 18 of whom told officers they had been subjected to voodoo rites. In the town of Cuevas de Alma-nzora (Almería), some of the women were exploited inside cave-houses, living in con-ditions of extreme preca-riousness.”

So far 89 arrests have been made and 43 have been remanded in custody due to the serious nature of the allegations.

The raids in Spain took place in at least a dozen locations, including Malaga, Alicante, Seville and Barce-lona.

Police say they have freed 39 women who were forced to work as prostitutes, having to pay off alleged debts of around 30,000 euros which their captors said covered their transport for the 4,200 kilometre journey from Nigeria and their keep. The women are described as “very young and some of them minors.”

Those arrested include the main ringleader who controlled Spain and his deputies in the various regions.

Police say they all come from the same gang known as the Confraternities or Brotherhoods, so called because they originate from the Universities of Nigeria.