Nigerian prostitution ring uncovered in Brussels; 30 girls saved after horrible trip

Brussels police raided several premises in the red light district in Schaarbeek this morning, busting a large-scale network of human trafficking for prostitution. The house searches had been carefully prepared for months; five suspects were arrested and some 30 young girls were saved.
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Detectives raided several locations across the country: suspected hiding places for the suspects, safehouses where the victims were accommodated, and some 30 brothels around the North Station. Police apprehended five suspects, including the main suspect.

The investigation focused on a leading Nigerian female pimp. She is thought to have climbed the ladder in recent years and is now at the helm of a network "which is notorious for its ruthless approach of Nigerian prostitutes" federal police say.

Voodoo ceremony

The Nigerian girls were recruited in their homeland, where they were promised a beautiful future in Europe. In return for the long journey they could make, they had to undergo a cruel voodoo ceremony where they had to swear they always obey their pimps.

After swearing the oath, the girls were transported to the Libyan coast. Federal police say this journey was a tough and life-threatening expedition during which some were raped. Some even starved.

When they had arrived in Europe, they had to work as a prostitute immediately and make big money (an amount of 45,000 euros is mentioned). When they didn't obey or tried to flee, this could have grave consequences for their family in their homeland.