Venezuelan sex traffickers targeting Brit expats in southern Spain

Published:  8 Feb at 6 PM
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People-trafficking mafias in Venezuela are targeting the sexual services market in southern Spain, aiming their activities at expats and tourists.

Articles in the British press are claiming prostitution arrest statistics are soaring, quoting an astonishing 12,000 per cent increase in victim numbers over the past four years. The modus operandum of the sex traffickers is straightforward, simply involving flying prostitutes from Venezuela to popular expat and tourist destinations and putting them to work. Alicante is a favourite hotspot for the illegal activities, with local expats referring to the sex workers as ‘roundabout girls’.

It seems the girls themselves are being duped into the scheme by the promise of a ‘better life’ than is possible in present-day Venezuela. To many expats, the girls seem to be very young, with some suspecting they may be minors. Spain seems to be the favoured destination due to its easy tourist visas and established British expat communities. Another possible link is that, in the past, Venezuela was a Spanish colony.

In the time-honoured manner, the girls are told the traffickers will fund their travel costs, but demand the money’s return immediately after they arrive, thus forcing them into prostitution to pay off their debts. One charity which provides support to victims of trafficking is credited with stating the numbers of Venezuelan women caught in the traffickers’ nets is on the increase.

Meanwhile in Marbella, for the first time since 2013 the numbers of British expats registered as living in the region has risen to 3,866 as against 2,000 between 2013 and 2016. The increase may well have resulted due to an increase in the numbers of British expatriates registering in order to get official status before the end of March, but it’s also possible it’s due to an increasing number of Britons arriving at the last minute in order to escape the UK before Brexit kicks in.
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