Python used in a voodoo ceremony in
Python used in a voodoo ceremony in Benin, West AfricaGetty Images

Spanish police arrested a man and woman of Nigerian origin following accusations that they forced women into prostitution and intimidated them into compliance using voodoo.

The pair were arrested after a warrant was issued by Norwegian police, following allegations made against them by a Nigerian woman in Oslo, reports AFP.

Spanish police said that the accused lured their victims, who were impoverished Nigerian woman, to Europe with promises of a job and and offered to pay their travel expenses. However once in Spain the pair then forced the women to work as prostitutes.

The accuser said that when she arrived in Spain she was kidnapped and held in a flat in the southern part of Madrid. She said that she was forced to work as a prostitute in several Spanish cities, as well as Bordeaux in France, and Oslo, and told that she had to repay a €60,000 ($66,000; £42,000) debt.

"The 'madam' and her accomplices had control over her, using all methods of aggression and threats and resorting to traditional Juju voodoo practices, including animal sacrifices," the police said.

In June, six traffickers who used voodoo to force Nigerian women into prostitution were arrested in Spain.

Their victims made the arduous journey to North Africa on foot, and sailed to the Spanish island Mallorca on dangerous makeshift boats. They were then forced into prostitution, and placed under a 'spell' by the traffickers in a ritual ceremony, under the belief that they or a member of their family would die unless they did as their traffickers demanded.

Voodoo is an animistic religion practiced in Benin, west Africa, as well as parts of Nigeria, with variants practiced in America and the Caribbean, including Haiti.