October 28, 2013
The women, who according to police appeared regularly on Brazilian TV and in men’s magazines, are believed to have been paid as much as £60,000 a week, investigators said.
Police claim the gang transported as many as 90 women a year from Brazil to wealthy clients in Angola, South Africa, Portugal and Austria in a racket believed to have amassed them over £28 million since 2007.
Federal police officers moved in on the gang yesterday following a year-long investigation, arresting three men and two women in the state of Sao Paulo, southeast Brazil.
The two female suspects are alleged to have approached and recruited the women.
Eleven luxury cars, as well as 23 passports, 14 visa requests for travel to Angola, foreign money and drugs were also seized, police said.
Police chief Luiz Tempestini, who led the investigation, told Brazil’s O Globo newspaper that many of the women, who have not been named, worked as dancers, models or actresses on popular Brazilian TV shows.
Mr Tempestini said once abroad the women were told they needed to have relations with the men without protection in order to earn the large amount they had been promised. Some of the women were held against their will, he added.