An Algerian couple who lived in a luxury home with swimming pool in Spain has been arrested for keeping a woman from their homeland as a domestic slave without even giving her enough to eat.
The 48-year-old victim, who was not named, had so little to eat she would often pass out from starvation and when she was finally rescued after alerting neighbours, she was found to have lost 20 kilogrammes (44 pounds) over the year and was suffering from malnutrition.
She was freed when police raided the house in the town of Agost in the Spanish province of Alicante, and found her living in what was described as appalling conditions with sanitary appliances that did not even work.
The Algerian victim told the authorities that ”she almost never left the house”, which had a swimming pool and plot of land, and even when she did it was under strict observation.
The woman’s captors denied her access to medical treatment even though she claimed to have fainted numerous times due to malnutrition, according to local media.
A NGO that helps victims of human trafficking is now assisting the woman and have provided her with new accommodation for the time being.
In a statement obtained by Newsflash, the authorities said the victim was bought to Spain by the married couple who promised her a job and pathway to getting Spanish residency papers.
However, they allegedly took the victim’s passport upon her arrival in Spain and put her to work in the house using the garage to house her.
The victim was exposed to “sub-human conditions”, according to the police statement, sleeping on a makeshift bed in a room with no ventilation and no proper sanitary facilities.
The couple reportedly used their victim as a source of constant free labour, forcing her to work seven days a week in and around the house.
The man, 50, and woman, 44, have been arrested for human trafficking, exploitation, illegal detention and crimes against the rights of foreign nationals.
The pair has been released on bail and are under surveillance as they await their trial.