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Babies held as part of voodoo prostitution gang 

Four people arrested for human trafficking used voodoo rites to frighten the women and also held their children to stop them escaping.

As part of their investigations into the gang on the mainland of Spain, police managed to free one mother and her baby who had also been kidnapped.

Officers were told that women of sub-Saharan origin were captured in Morocco and brought over to Spain, allege-dly drawing up debts of around 50,000 euros in the process.

They were forced into prostitution and their children held as “security for payment” of the money owed.

The women were kept in farmhouses in Roquetas del Mar (Almería) and were subjected to voodoo rites with “curses”. The brothel was controlled by a madam who would confine the children, many of them toddlers.

Police said the woman who was freed was being kept in harsh conditions.

Three other properties were searched and voodoo articles were found, together with 2,000 euros in ash, documents, drugs, 12 mobile phones, four computers and various memory cards.

The operation was part of an overall police crackdown on human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

There is a 24-hour free phone number of 900.10.50.90 for reporting any suspicions or emails can be sent in confidence to trata@policia.es.

The National Police also have a section on their website at  www.policia.es/trata