An international operation dismantled a network that exploited Latin American women in France

Police around the Eiffel Tower (File)

Twelve people were arrested in France, Spain and Colombia in an operation to dismantle a pimping ring that exploded at least fifty Latin American women in French citiesinformed the news agency AFP this Friday a police source.

The victims, between the ages of 20 and 40, were “mainly Colombian and Venezuelan, but also from Peru and Paraguay”, explained the commissioner Elvire Arrighihead of the Central Office for the Suppression of Human Trafficking (OCRTEH).

it was exploited [a las mujeres] in an absolutely industrial way in France”, with up to ten services per daywhich allowed the network to obtain up to 30 million euros ($31.3 million) annual profits, stressed Arrighi.

The network, whose organization was pyramidal, was run from Colombia by a couple made up of a Colombian and a Venezuelan, who recruited the victims with false promises of a better future in Europe and collected the benefits.

The operation led to the couple’s arrest in Colombia; of six more people -four men and two women- in Spain; and two men and two women in France, according to the police source, who confirmed a radio report French Inter and from the newspaper le parisien.

The detainees in France, in the town of saint louis (northeast), are of Spanish or Colombian nationality, the newspaper indicated, specifying that the operation took place on Tuesday simultaneously at six in the morning in France and Spain, and at midnight in Colombia.

A police officer in Paris (Europa Press / File)
A police officer in Paris (Europa Press / File) (Alexis Sciard /)

“Beyond the oceans”

The case began two years ago, after a complaint filed by two women in Bordeaux (southwest), according to French Internetr. And in September 2021, the French justice system opened an investigation for pimping, aggravated trafficking in human beings, money laundering in an organized gang and association of criminals, he told the AFP a legal source.

The network forced women into prostitution throughout France: from the western Atlantic coast (Roche-sur-Yon, La Rochelle, Mérignac) to the eastern Saint-Louis or Annemasse, passing through Roubaix in the north or Plaisir and Bussy-Saint-Georges in the Paris region, depending on le parisien.

To contact the victims, their clients went through “call centers” installed in Spain -Málaga and Madrid- and in France, dialing a telephone number published on the Internet.

Women “they had no control over their schedule and had to be held accountable by message after each service”, explained the head of the OCRTEH. According to the newspaper, the network installed presence detectors and cameras to record customers when they paid for the service.

In order for the victims to dedicate themselves “completely” to the clients, other members of the network took care of their food, transportation and security, he explained. Elvire Arrighi.

The researchers consider that, at least, the network collected five million euros (5.3 million dollars) per year with the sexual exploitation of the victims, although the estimates can go up to “20 to 30 million euros” (20, 8 to 31.3 million dollars).

For the commissioner, the money that the women received for each service, an amount “that they could hardly earn in their countries of origin”, and the need to “send money to their families” meant that they remained “under the influence of this network”. , declared to the radio French Inter.

The head of the OCRTEH highlighted the “unprecedented international cooperation” between France, Colombia and Spain, which shows that “in the face of organized crime without borders, police forces can ally themselves, even beyond oceans.”

(By Alexandre Hielard / Toni Cerdá – AFP)

Keep reading:

Complaints from tourists staying in FIFA tents north of Doha: “A refugee camp”

Twitter suspended Kanye West’s account for violating anti-violence rules after his anti-Semitic comments