Child trafficker: Madame’ Liliana del Carmen Campos Puello has been arrested after cops busted a child prostitution ring
A child prostitution ring where 250 underage sex slaves were branded with tattoos by their “owners” has been smashed in dramatic raids in Chartegna, Colombia.
Cops arrested 18 people after dozens of underage girls were recruited for sex parties under the pretence of getting modelling work in the Columbian resort of Cartagena.
Of those seized “Madame” Liliana del Carmen Campos Puello and several unnamed Israelis were believed to be the network’s ringleaders.
They allegedly raped and tattooed all their underage victims, aged between 14 and 17.
Campos Puello was said to be responsible for recruiting the girls from poor neighbourhoods in Columbia and Venezuela.
She allegedly helped them with passports and sent them money for expenses to travel to Cartagena.
Glamour Madame Puello [photo] has a history of drug trafficking
The king pins in the web of pimps in Cartagena police say was made up of a marine captain who forcefully tattooed his name on underage victims and Liliana Puello, the madam who lured in girls as young as 14 with promises of exotic work was recently broken up, according to the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office.
In a joint operation with officials from the United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Colombian authorities captured 18 people tied with the prostitution ring that involved 250 victims, some of whom prosecutors said were minors.
Authorities Puello, alias “Madame,” who prosecutors called “the biggest pimp in Cartagena” and who they said acted as a recruiter and point person for underage prostitutes.
High rolling ex-drug runner turned madame, Campos Puello is alleged to have hired the minor girls and forced them into prostitution
Campos Puello living it up: Allegedly off the profits of child prostitution. Her modus operandi allegedly, was promising minor children, the promise of exotic jobs abroad
Puello, would come to young girls with the promise of working in exotic locations like on the Caribbean islands and offer to process work visas for free. When the girls got to their locations, they soon realized they had been recruited as sex workers and were not free to leave.
In addition, Campos sent the girls to “sex parties” throughout the world, authorities said. Investigators uncovered tourist operations and hotels known for catering to sex tourism to commonly have girls between the ages of 14 to 17 available as sex workers.
“They were recruited by pimping networks that defined their routines and hours, and obligated them to offer sexual services in exchange for money,” prosecutors said in a statement.
“They were true 21st century slaves.”
Campos Puello is seen being led away by police after the child sex ring she masterminded was dramatically smashed
But when the girls arrived, they were reportedly stripped of their documents and possessions and forced into prostitution.
The girls were allegedly showcased in catalogues and forced to attend parties on luxury yachts and in hotels.
Campos Puello would allegedly select the best-suited girls from their list before each event.
At least 250 minors were lured to Cartagena in one year, in what is being called the city’s biggest sexual exploitation case, according to reports.
High roller – Campos Puello is seen counting wads of cash. Wealth created as she allegedly combed for young girls from poor neighbourhoods in Colombia and Venezuela and turned them on to prostitution
The Attorney General’s Office said of Puello: “The Madame has a criminal record for heroin trafficking and illegal entrance into the United States.
“Additionally, she was in charge of operating a prostitution service in the beach area, as well as using international contacts to organize events where the girls were forced to perform.”
She denied all new charges during a Monday hearing, according to Miami’s El Heraldo.
The investigation into Puello’s full scale of operations is ongoing.
Puellos was one of 18 people arrested by authorities in Colombia busting a child sex ring
Police had mounted surveillance at a pair of hotels, Hotel Casa Benjamin and El Laguito – in Cartagena’s Old Town, as well as a third hotel in Bocagrande where some of the numerous raids took place.
investigation, police said. Casa Benjamin was known headquarters for Puello’s operations among others.
There were 13 raids and constant monitoring of five hotels during the sting and prosecutors said the raid there yielded extensive evidence against the defendants.
Another major arrest was Romero Pabón, a marine infantry captain with Colombia’s Armed Forces.
After Pabón was taken into custody prosecutors said: “There is abundant conclusive material against him that shows he located girls under 14 years old on social media, abused them, and bought their silence and ordered that they tattooed his name on certain parts of their bodies”.
He pled guilty to five charges on Saturday and will face a sentence of up to 91 years in prison for the range of crimes that include engaging the prostitution of minors and using communication methods to facilitate the sexual exploitation of minors.
Colombian authorities said they received a number of formal complaints about local hotels and businesses in Cartagena that advertised underage girls to foreigners, mainly Israelis. Two Israeli citizens, who prosecutors charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, were among the arrested.
A third Israeli, Assi Mosh, has a warrant out for his arrest through Interpol.