An unnamed popular Nigerian DJ has been arrested alongside 88 other persons for their alleged involvement in a major sex trafficking case in Spain.
The bust, which is being referred to as one of the biggest in Europe regarding trafficking, was carried out with police from the UK and Nigeria.
According to the BBC, Europol accosted the unnamed DJ as he was flying back into Spain after recording a music video.
He allegedly helped smuggle victims from Nigeria to Spain and organise sexual exploitation across the country.
The report said the Nigerian crime ring was linked to the Eiye Confraternity – a network that Spanish police have previously compared to the mafioso in Chicago in the 1930s.
The victims, many under the age of 18, were believed to have undergone voodoo “juju” rituals in Nigeria to force them to comply with orders, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
After being trafficked to Spain via Libya and Italy, the women and girls were kept in cave houses in the southeastern city of Almeria, it said.
They were then forced into prostitution to pay off “debts” of 30,000 euros ($36,900) each, which they were told they owed the organization for their journey to Europe.
Europol said the DJ had helped transfer the victims to Spain and “organize sexual exploitation” in several provinces.
It said bank accounts used by the network to launder more than 300,000 euros had been blocked.
“(This) was a highly organized crime gang, exploiting young woman for lengthy periods of time, keeping them in horrendous conditions where they knew there would be no escape,” the NCA’s deputy director Tom Dowdall said in a statement.
Europol said raids were carried out across 11 Spanish cities last November but the operation could not be announced until Thursday to avoid jeopardising investigations.