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Magaluf’s prostitution problem must be solved by “eliminating mafias” 

Security chiefs in Magaluf are calling for more police to help crackdown on the “mafias” controlling prostitutes in the holiday resort.

They claim the issue, which has been escalating over the last few weeks with rowdy scenes of protests and alleged violence, is much more than a “local” problem.

The only way to put a stop to the controversy, they say, is to eliminate the organised gangs who coerce the prostitutes into working on the streets and robbing drunken tourists of money, credit cards and cash.

The prostitutes themselves have turned to help organisations amid claims that they have no choice but to do what their “captors” demand.

Ill-feeling between business owners in Magaluf, many of them British, and the women came to a head recently during dawn protests when tourists joined in “go home” chants. Five Brits were arrested on suspicion of a hate crime after violent scenes broke out.

The Mayor of Calvia, Alfonso Rodríguez Badal has already admitted that the security of holiday-makers is being put at risk and is demanding urgent action.

He also wants more police on the beat but the wo-men’s groups who help the prostitutes say nothing will change until the roof of the problem is dealt with. And that, they say, is the mafia.

The women say they haven’t been able to get official residence papers and as some have children, the only work they can do is prostitution. Their lives, they allege, are being made a misery.

The incidents come in the wake of police freeing four Nigerian women in Valencia who were due to be shipped out to Mallorca and Ibiza to work as prostitutes under the threat of voodoo curses.

Twelve people have been arrested for being part of the network which captured the women in their home country and then kept them prisoners in houses in Valencia until they were taken to the holiday islands.

Police said the women were being prepared to work on the streets to coincide with the busy tourist season and both they and their families were threatened with violence if they failed to pay back an alleged debt of 35,000 euros for their “trans-port and keep”.

Security chiefs met today to discuss what should be done and agreed to call on the Balearic Government for urgent intervention and more police.

They say vigilantes must not take matters into their own hands and leave enforcement to officers and the law.

“The only way to end this situation is to attack the root of the problem in an energetic way, ending the mafias that are the true origin of these conflicts,” said the Mayor.