Sunday 1/16/22
CRIME

Spanish police arrest 37 suspects of sexual exploitation of minors

The victims are 10 girls aged 14 to 16 years. They were contacted through social networks

Screenshot from video of one of the arrests. Image: Policia Nacional.
Screenshot of a police video showing one of those arrested. Image: Policia Nacional.

The Spanish Police have arrested 37 people suspected of forming a criminal group dedicated to the sexual exploitation of underage girls.

According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, the detainees are men and women between 18 and 56 years old, most of them of Dominican origin, although there are also Spaniards, Moroccans, Romanians, Nigerians and Cubans in the group.

The newspaper, which quotes police sources, says that among those arrested is a well-known young Dominican singer, who is suspected of attracting girls. 

The victims are at least 10 girls aged 14 to 16 years. They were contacted through social networks.

According to a police statement, the suspects exploited the girls by forcing them to have sexual intercourse with drug addicts and also used them to deliver narcotics.

Forced to distribute drugs

The police say the investigation began in April, when they learned that an underage girl was frequently running away from her place of residence and that during her absences she had sexual relations with people of legal age in exchange for money or drugs.

The investigators later discovered that other minors were in the same situation. 

In some cases, the victims were forced to distribute the drug themselves on scooters throughout the capital and, after delivery, they were sexually assaulted by the buyers. On other occasions, the detainees transferred them to "a well-known industrial estate" in the capital city, where they were offered to drug buyers to have sex with them.

Locked in a room for three days

According to a police statement, one of the girls was locked in a room of an apartment in the Madrid district of Usera for three days. The place, where people used to go to buy drugs, was run by one woman who is also among those arrested.

Inside of the apartment the procedure was similar: when people went to buy their doses, the woman offered them the possibility of having sex with the girl. But the victim managed to escape and asked for help at a nearby tobacco shop, where they notified the police.

During the searches, the police also discovered a hairdressing establishment in the Vallecas neighbourhood which had a hidden basement where there was a double bed. The police suspect that sexual practices with minors took place there. A camera was also discovered that is being analyzed for whether it might contain pornographic material of minors.

The police also say that one of the girls was taken to a private home to have sex with four men.

During the searches, drugs, cash, computer equipment, a firearm a machete and various tools were seized. Some 150 police officers participated in the operation.

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