After six months of a thorough investigation, police in Costa Rica arrested five suspects of being involved in a ring of human trafficking in Santa Clara de Upala. The police raided a bar and in there they found six women from Nicaragua whom were living in despicable conditions. Furthermore, one of the women was discovered to be underage.
The women were forced to stay there, and threaten at gunpoint if they ever attempted of escaping. Their passports were also taken away from them making it impossible to return home.
It is assumed that the daughter of the owner of the bar was the one that recruited them by approaching them in Nicaragua and promising work as hair dressers in Costa Rica. Of course, once they arrived, they were sexually exploited.
Before the arrival of the police which the bar owner was aware of, the suspects moved the victims to a mountainous area where they were monitored by two members of the criminal ring. However, other victims were still found there.
It is believed that, the suspects were selling the women to clients at the bar for 13,000 colones where the clients would take them to a room in the back of the bar; and that they charged 20,000 colones if the client desired to take them somewhere else.
The suspects will now be prosecuted and if it is proven that the underage girl was abused, the offenders could face up 16 years in prison. Cooperating with the investigation was PANI who is now looking over the girl and has provided psychological support to the rest of the victims.
For more information and photos of the conditions the victims were living here, please check the original news post: http://www.nacion.com/sucesos/seguridad/Operativo-Fiscalia-Detenidos-Bar-Trata_de_Personas_0_1658434193.html.